Friday, August 30, 2013

Seamus Heaney (1939–2013)

The Irish Times has substantial coverage of the life and work of Seamus Heaney. You might begin here.

Many years ago in Boston, I heard Heaney give a great lecture about poetry and language. I remember it as drawing heavily on T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets. I met Heaney once in the Grolier Poetry Bookshop in Cambridge and thanked him for that lecture. He was checking on how his books were doing. Just a couple of years ago, I saw a man I thought was Heaney in the Harvard Square Peet’s. He had to be Heaney. I took the chance and said hello, but he wasn’t. The strange thing: whoever this man was, he knew Heaney, as he said, and was editing a Heaney manuscript. On his table, an envelope with Heaney’s return address.

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