At a glance:
- Author: W. D. Snodgrass
- First Published: 1959
- Type of Poem: Poetic sequence
- Genres: Poetry, Lyric sequence
- Subjects: Children, Family or family life, Parents and children, Fathers, Divorce, Korean War, Museums, Respiration
“Heart’s Needle” explores a father’s struggle to remain a father to his daughter who, though separated from him by her parents’ divorce, maintains regular visits over a two-and-a-half year period. The child is almost three years old at the beginning.
The title comes from an old Irish tale, “The Frenzy of Suibne,” about the death of an only daughter, who is “the needle of the heart.” In the poem, W. D. Snodgrass suggests that the daughter’s presence as well as her absence is a needle in the heart, since both intensify his sense of loss. In a...
(The entire page is 1956 words.)
Want to read the whole thing?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus, get access to:
- 30,000+ literature study guides
- Critical essays on more than 30,000 works of literature from Salem on Literature (exclusive to eNotes)
- An unparalleled literary criticism section. 40,000 full-length or excerpted essays.
- Content from leading academic publishers, all easily citable with our "Cite this page" button.
- 100% satisfaction guarantee READ MORE