This chapter examines Seamus Heaney's notion of poetic redress. His work reflects a conflict between the seemingly irreconcilable imperatives to trust in poetry as a mode of redress — as agent for proclaiming and correcting injustices; and to redress poetry as poetry, to set it up as its own category, an eminence established and a pressure exercised by distinctly linguistic means. It considers Heaney's tendency to perpetuate Romantic notions about poetic authority, and his attempts to play down aggressive connotations of the word ‘redress’.
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