Let’s take this one step at a time because I don’t know what you know.

thanks K.

and this is what Terry Eagleton wrote about Seamus Heaney

“The relationship between language and the world is not a spatial one, any more than the relation between a spade and the act of digging with it. The celebrated ‘materiality’ of a poet like Heaney is really a linguistic trompe l’oeil, a psychological rather than ontological affair, a matter of association rather than incarnation. The density of his discourse does not ’embody’ material process, as we post-Romantics are prone to think; it is just that the one phenomenon brings the other to mind. Poetry is a sort of trick, whereby an awareness of the textures of signs puts us in mind of the textures of actual things. But the relation between the two remains quite as arbitrary as in any other use of language; it is just that some poetry tries to ‘iconicise’ that relation, make it appear somehow inevitable. This – what Paul de Man referred to as the ‘phenomenalisation of language’ – is the mark of ideology, and it is ironic that poets should typically regard themselves as the antidote to ideologists, giving us the feel and pith of things rather than the delusory abstraction. It is hard to imagine, however, that de Man is bedside reading for the theory-allergic Heaney.

“Words may not be things, but the poet, like the small child making its first sounds, is one who invests them as though they were. There is thus something regressively infantile as well as dauntingly mature about poetry, rather as the grandeur of the imagination is embarrassingly close to libidinal fantasy. Does the language transport the writer to the heart of reality, or does messing about with the stuff substitute for that reality like a child’s Plasticine? How can the erotic mouth-music of the babbling toddler become somehow cognitive?”

– Terry Eagleton, Figures of Dissent, Verso, London, 2003, pp. 224-225