In Gratitude for All the Gifts explores the literary and cultural links between the bestselling, Nobel Prize-winning Northern Irish poet Seamus Heaney and the preeminent Eastern European poets of the twentieth century, including fellow Nobel laureate Czeslaw Milosz and Zbigniew Herbert. Magdalena Kay opens new ground in comparative literary studies with her close analysis of Heaney's poetic work from the perspective of the English-speaking West's attraction, and especially Heane"s own attraction, to Eastern European poetry. While placing Milosz and Herbert in their cultural contexts and keeping an eye on the poems in their original Polish, this innovative and energetic study focuses on how Heaney encountered their work in translation. In Gratitude for All the Gifts thus allows us to see what happens when poetic forms, histories, and themes travel between countries and encourages us to understand cultural crossing not just thematically, but also in terms of form, voice, and aesthetic intent.
Magdalena Kay is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Victoria.
Acknowledgments Introduction Chapter 1: Looking Eastwards Chapter 2: Heroic Names Chapter 3: Zbigniew Herbert and the Moral Imperative Chapter 4: Approaching the Master Chapter 5: Unfortunate Nobility Conclusion: Considering the Gift Bibliography