Retelling the Irish Troubles through a Female Figure: The Irish Female Presence in Seamus Heaney’s Poetry

Author: Maha Qahtan Sulaiman

Keywords: Northern Ireland, Troubles, Mother Goddess, myth, reconciliation


The Irish Mother Goddess appears frequently in Seamus Heaney‟s poetry, through different female figures that are capable of destruction and regeneration. Heaney uses the Mother Earth myth to give significance and pattern to the discord and antagonism in Northern Ireland, converting them into introductory stages for a new epoch of rebirth, agreement, security, and righteousness. This is a recurrent motif in Heaney‟s poetry, indicating his belief that the spirit of Ireland is of a feminine nature and that the potentiality in Northern Ireland invariably moves from barrenness to abundance and fecundity.