I had never heard of Seamus Heaney until I visited Northern Ireland, my husband’s family of origin, in 2004. We were visiting with a cousin in County Tyrone when I picked up a book on the coffee table and asked a room full of family: “Who’s Seamus Heaney?” I heard a gasp, followed by silence, then quiet mumbling.
It became the family’s mission: Educate the ignorant visiting Canadian about County Tyrone’s most celebrated poet – which they did with great passion and joy. The trip became a crash course on Heaney – his life and his work, and the impact that he had on his readers around the world.
I was very sad today to learn of his passing on Friday, August 30th, at the age of 74.
Read more about Heaney:
“Seamus Heaney, Nobel Prize-winning poet, dies” – CBC News
“Seamus Heaney, Irish Poet of Soil and Strife, Dies at 74” – New York Times
1995 Nobel Prize Lecture – youtube
Seamus Heaney Facts – Nobelprize.org
A lovely (and amusing) anecdotal tribute.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts.