In Memoriam, Seamus Heaney, Irish Poet

The Rag Tree

File:Antoni Milosz & Seamus Heaney 2004.jpg

Seamus Heaney, Nobel Laureate in Literature (1995) and the greatest living Irish poet, has died. He was 74.

RT only encountered Heaney’s work about 12 years ago, but was immediately impressed. The dignity of Heaney’s voice, his material rooted in the deep culture and history of Ireland, and his command of a prosody that seems older than the old–Beowulfand Sweeney Astray are fine examples of Heaney’s work–lend his poems a power and beauty seldom achieved.  Certainly, they are among the greatest ever penned in an island where people sing like birds in a tree.

“Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I’ll dig with it.”

from “Digging”

The Irish poet passes, but the song remains….  RT

Photo: Seamus Heaney (middle right) with Antoni Milosz (son of Czeslaw Milosz), Cracow, 2004. Author: Mariusz Kubik. WikiCmns; Public Domain w/ Attribution.


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