This article examines the lines of influence and correlation between the work of William Carlos Williams and that of Irish poet Seamus Heaney. Highlighting Heaney’s formative encounter with Williams’s poetry during his time teaching in California in the early 1970s, this article attends to questions of form, place, idiom, and political concern that both figures engage. The second half of the article features a comparative discussion of each poet’s response to images of the Tollund Man, a millennia-old sacrificial victim that was preserved in peat until its discovery in 1950 in Denmark. Proposing a literary genre based on the relationship between poetry, photography and violence in a 20th-century context, this article also alludes to the work of Walter Benjamin.

You do not currently have access to this content.