Sep 28

Seamus Heaney’s Death

It was a sad day on 30th August 2013 when Seamus Heaney breathed his last breath. He died in Blackrock Clinic in Dublin, Ireland aged just 74 years old.

The previous night he had a fall outside a restaurant and was admitted to hospital. He was due to have a medical procedure on the day of his death but unfortunately died before it was due to take place. His last few words in a mobile phone text message which he wrote to his wife minutes before he passed away were in his beloved Latin and they read – ‘noli timere’ (‘don’t be afraid’).

He was buried in his native Bellaghy, Co. Derry on 2nd September 2013, in the same graveyard where his parents and several relatives lie.

seamus heaney death

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Jul 15

The Poet Speaking at The Ireland Funds Promising Ireland Campaign

Seamus Heaney recently was awarded The American Ireland Fund AWB Vincent Literary Award 2012.

This was posted on irlfunds youtube account which can be found here

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Jul 08

The Irish Poet Meets Rock Star Bono

The famous irish poet and Nobel laureate was reading at the Dalkey Book Festival, which is in its third year, when U2 singer Bono called in to listen.

“Seamus was reading a selection of his poetry at St Patrick’s Church on Harbour Road,” festival director Sian Smyth said.

“We had the biggest rock star of literature in the room, and Bono turned up. We were delighted to have him.

“We were talking about Dalkey and about what a buzz there was about the town over the weekend. We had an incredible line up of people. We had Robert Fisk in the main church, Barry Devlin playing in the main hall and a discovery session for new writers.”

The festival was set up in 2010 to help businesses closeby as the recession began to take hold. Around 50 volunteers come and help out over the weekend and the organisers were ecstatic with the turn-out, with over 4,000 tickets sold for 55 events.

Despite competition from other literary festivals, the Dalkey Book Festival managed to attract some of the famous names in Irish literature including Seamus Heaney, Maeve Binchy Jennifer Johnston and Joseph O’Connor, also present was the author Derek Landy and actress Sinead Cusack.

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Jul 08

Seamus Heaney Discusses Lifetime Achievement Award

Seamus recently accepted a Lifetime Recognition Award from the Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry. He described himself as someone who “dabbles in verses.”

The Lifetime Recognition Award he recieved is just one of several honours he’s earned over the years, including the 1995 Nobel Prize for Literature. And last year his latest poetry collection, entitled Human Chain, was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize.

Heaney was thrilled and humbled to accept this recent award, as the prize is a passion project of the couple who set it up in 2000, Scott and Krystyne Griffin.

“Scott and Krystyne Griffin personally made an immense contribution,” Heaney said. The award is related to two of Canada’s greatest literary luminaries. A trustee of the Griffin Prize is Margaret Atwood. “It gives a verity to it, I tell you.”

Heaney is the seventh recipient of the Lifetime award.

- Click here for more News

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May 15

Students English Literature Revision

For all you who are currently undertaking your school or college exams you can use this site to brush up on your Seamus Heaney poems.
There are also loads of books for sale using the links below.

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Apr 28

Act of Union

Act of Union

I

To-night, a first movement, a pulse,
As if the rain in bogland gathered head
To slip and flood: a bog-burst,
A gash breaking open the ferny bed.
Your back is a firm line of eastern coast
And arms and legs are thrown
Beyond your gradual hills. I caress
The heaving province where our past has grown.
I am the tall kingdom over your shoulder
That you would neither cajole nor ignore.
Conquest is a lie. I grow older
Conceding your half-independant shore
Within whose borders now my legacy
Culminates inexorably.

II

And I am still imperially
Male, leaving you with pain,
The rending process in the colony,
The battering ram, the boom burst from within.
The act sprouted an obsinate fifth column
Whose stance is growing unilateral.
His heart beneath your heart is a wardrum
Mustering force. His parasitical
And ignmorant little fists already
Beat at your borders and I know they’re cocked
At me across the water. No treaty
I foresee will salve completely your tracked
And stretchmarked body, the big pain
That leaves you raw, like opened ground, again

 

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Apr 28

Irish Poet Seamus Heaney To Mark Anniversary Of Re-Opening Of Famous Lyric

The Nobel Laureate will be on stage on Monday 30th April introduce events which mark the first anniversary of the re-opening of Belfast’s Lyric Theatre.

The famous Irish Poet y will deliver a lecture, Speak The Speech, to put across the importance of poetry to the congregation.

Monday marks the beginning of two weeks worth of celebrations in memory of the new building’s first anniversary. The Irish poet unveiled the threshold stone of the £18 million building in 2009.

Heaney said the rebuilding of the Lyric Theatre was “a reminder of the vital artistic achievement in the past and the promise of ongoing creative vigour in the future”.

The Lyric Theatre has recently been given a list of awards for its design and the architecture of the new building.

The Lyric’s artistic director Richard Croxford said it has been a “whirlwind year” for the theatre.

“It’s hard to believe a whole year has flown by,” he said.

“We’ve had amazing artists working with us throughout the last year, supported by a fantastic team of staff, and it’s been a pleasure to welcome such wonderful audiences to our beautiful building on the banks of the Lagan.”

“We are now looking forward to another exciting year.”

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Apr 28

From Lightenings

From Lightenings

I

Shifting brilliancies. Then winter light
In a doorway, and on the stone doorstep
A beggar shivering in silhouette.

So the particular judgement might be set:
Bare wallstead and a cold hearth rained into-
Bright puddle where the soul-free cloud-life roams.

And after the commanded journey, what?
Nothing magnificent, nothing unknown.
A gazing out from far away, alone.

And it is not particular at all,
Just old truth dawning: there is no next-time-round.
Unroofed scope. Knowledge-freshening wind.

VI

Once, as a child, out in a field of sheep,
Thomas Hardy pretended to be dead
And lay down flat among their dainty shins.

In that sniffed-at, bleated-into, grassy space
He experimented with infinity.
His small cool brow was like an anvil waiting

For sky to make it sing the prefect pitch
Of his dumb being, and that stir he caused
In the fleece-hustle was the original

Of a ripple that would travel eighty years
Outward from there, to be the same ripple
Inside him at its last circumference.

VII

(I misremembered. He went down on all fours,
Florence Emily says, crossing a ewe-leaze.
Hardy sought the creatures face to face,

Their witless eyes and liability
To panic made him feel less alone,
Made proleptic sorrow stand a moment

Over him, perfectly known and sure.
And then the flock’s dismay went swimming on
Into the blinks and murmurs and deflections

He’d know at parties in renowned old age
When sometimes he imagined himself a ghost
And circulated with that new perspective.)

VIII

The annals say: when the monks of Clonmacnoise
Were all at prayers inside the oratory
A ship appeared above them in the air.

The anchor dragged along behind so deep
It hooked itself into the altar rails
And then, as the big hull rocked to a standstill,

A crewman shinned and grappled down the rope
And struggled to release it. But in vain.
‘This man can’t bear our life here and will drown, ‘

The abbot said, ‘unless we help him.’ So
They did, the freed ship sailed, and the man climbed back
Out of the marvellous as he had known it.

 

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Apr 23

Exposure

Exposure

It is December in Wicklow:
Alders dripping, birches
Inheriting the last light,
The ash tree cold to look at.

A comet that was lost
Should be visible at sunset,
Those million tons of light
Like a glimmer of haws and rose-hips,

And I sometimes see a falling star.
If I could come on meteorite!
Instead I walk through damp leaves,
Husks, the spent flukes of autumn,

Imagining a hero
On some muddy compound,
His gift like a slingstone
Whirled for the desperate.

How did I end up like this?
I often think of my friends’
Beautiful prismatic counselling
And the anvil brains of some who hate me

As I sit weighing and weighing
My responsible tristia.
For what? For the ear? For the people?
For what is said behind-backs?

Rain comes down through the alders,
Its low conductive voices
Mutter about let-downs and erosions
And yet each drop recalls

The diamond absolutes.
I am neither internee nor informer;
An inner йmigrй, grown long-haired
And thoughtful; a wood-kerne

Escaped from the massacre,
Taking protective colouring
From bole and bark, feeling
Every wind that blows;

Who, blowing up these sparks
For their meagre heat, have missed
The once-in-a-lifetime portent,
The comet’s pulsing rose.

 

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Apr 23

Bogland

Bogland

We have no prairies
To slice a big sun at evening–
Everywhere the eye concedes to
Encrouching horizon,

Is wooed into the cyclops’ eye
Of a tarn. Our unfenced country
Is bog that keeps crusting
Between the sights of the sun.

They’ve taken the skeleton
Of the Great Irish Elk
Out of the peat, set it up
An astounding crate full of air.

Butter sunk under
More than a hundred years
Was recovered salty and white.
The ground itself is kind, black butter

Melting and opening underfoot,
Missing its last definition
By millions of years.
They’ll never dig coal here,

Only the waterlogged trunks
Of great firs, soft as pulp.
Our pioneers keep striking
Inwards and downwards,

Every layer they strip
Seems camped on before.
The bogholes might be Atlantic seepage.
The wet centre is bottomless.

 

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