Sunday, September 1, 2013

Seamus Heaney, RIP -- September 1, 2013

I was sad to learn that Seamus Heaney, poet laureate of Ireland, has died.  I first encountered his poem "Digging" in an anthology in high school or college and I connected right away.  I think the last thing of his that I read was his excellent verse translation of Beowulf.  Thank you for all the enjoyment. 

Robert Pinksy posted a nice column in Slate (, which concludes:
"When considering the lives of writers, an unpleasant truth emerges: Many of them, including some great ones, were mean or petty or worse. I’ve often thought to myself, Thank god for Chekhov, who demonstrated that a great writer could be generous, large-hearted, unselfish, tolerant.

"The same goes for Seamus Heaney: His understanding of other people, individually and in groups and in nations, made him a master of occasions and a supreme teller of jokes and stories. The same quality makes him a great poet. Thank god for him, too."

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