La pompa dell’acqua come ‘omphalos’: la poetica dello scavo di Seamus Heaney

Teresa Travaglia (Università degli Studi di Trieste, Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici)


Seamus Heaney maintained that poetry is a gift that enables the poet to interact with his inner self, the world surrounding and the past in unexpected and profound ways. It comes as no surprise therefore that digging, a familiar activity, and the water pump, a familiar object, are ideal metaphors to channel his artistic process in that they connect what is below and what is above the earth. The pump, in particular, acts as the farm’s – and Heaney’s – omphalos: a focal point, a reliablereference, a source of revelation. Encased in images and narrativesdrawn from Greek and Latin classics, Heaney’s pump is a symbol of poetry and the poet, and an emblem of Irish culture too.

DOI: 10.4424/lam82019-8


Seamus Heaney; Water pump; Omphalos; Delphi; Classical presence.

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