In "The Poet as Christian," Heaney recalls that, during his formative years, the experience attending wakes and funerals, with their "inner system of courtesy and honour and obligement
," had a "definite effect" on him. The ritualistic observances of Catholic burial--the stationary observation at the wake, the rhythmic steps of the funeral procession, and the downward motion of interment (what poetry critic Jonathan Hufstader has referred to as "coming to consciousness by jumping in graves")7--appear to be intimately connected with Heaney's development of the station poem.
I'd gladly give one of the guys laid off MY job - I'm sure he'd give me a fiver as an obligement
! - Prisoner, `E' Hall, Barlinnie Prison, Glasgow.