Holding ‘surprise wide open’: Meeting the paralysed man lowered through the roof in the poetry of Seamus Heaney

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Abstract

Seamus Heaney refers to the Gospel story of the healing of the paralysed man lowered through the roof directly in ‘The Skylight’, ‘Miracle’ and ‘The Latecomers’. It is argued that each of these poems reflects aspects of the Lukan, Markan and Matthean version of the story respectively. Furthermore, these poems transform the story into a metaphor for theological reflection: in ‘The Latecomers’, on the nature of Christ; in ‘Miracle’, on humanity; in ‘The Skylight’, on poetic inspiration. The open roof, what is left behind after the miracle has happened, offers a profound perspective on the meaning of life and what lies beyond.
Original languageEnglish
JournalChristianity and Literature
Volume69
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

Keywords

  • Seamus Heaney
  • Jesus
  • Gospels
  • healing miracles

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