Sunday, September 1, 2013

Renowned poet Seamus Heaney 1939-2013

The following is paraphrased from the August 31, 2013 edition of The Independent, p. 11.
Newspapers alerted the world that Seamus Heaney, world-renowned Irish poet, died at 74 years of age. Mr. Heaney is hailed as one of the most important international literary figures in the last century, held in esteem by Ireland with Yeats, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, and Geroge Bernard Shaw. His poetry was both universal and specific, describing daily life in the context of politics and historical/contemporary events. Born in rural County Londonderry, his work first focused on his roots and later extended to classic themes. He had academic positions at Harvard and Oxford.
In 1955, he won the Noble Prize for Literature. "His Nobel Prize citation spoke of his 'works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past.' "
Prizewinning poet Sean O'Brien described Haney's contribution as follows. "We have lost our senior representative, one who embodied and sustained the value of the poetic art." "He showed that poetry, it's music in the ear, the mouth and the imagination, remains the most potent form of the examined life."

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