Place, Pastness, Poems: A Triptych

Seamus Heaney at Salmagundi:

Neruda’s declaration that “the reality of the world … should not be underprized” implies that we can and often do underprize it. We grow away from our primary relish of the phenomena. The rooms where we come to consciousness, the cupboards we open as toddlers, the shelves we climb up to, the boxes and albums we explore in reserved places in the house, the spots we discover for ourselves in those first solitudes out of doors, the haunts of those explorations at the verge of our security—in such places and at such moments “the reality of the world” first wakens in us. It is also at such moments that we have our first inkling of pastness and find our physical surroundings invested with a wider and deeper dimension than we can, just then, account for.

What I am talking about is at the time an unconscious process. It is neither sentimental nor literary, since it happens during the pre-reflective stage of our existence.

more here.