Books: Inspirations Station Island

By Seamus Heaney Farrar, Straus & Giroux 123 pages; $11.95

A year ago, Seamus Heaney, 45, offered his incandescent version of Mad Sweeney, the legendary Irish king who was turned into a bird-man and condemned to live in the trees for slaying a psalmist. In this new collection of verse, Heaney moves to an even higher and madder style. In the process, Station Island reinforces his reputation as the best poet that Ireland has produced since Yeats.

The roughly two dozen works in the book's first section range from the erotic awakening of a honeymooning couple to the pensiveness of an old man surveying his fields and finding solace in memory....

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