Seamus Justin Heaney was an Irish poet, playwright, translator and lecturer, and the recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature. In the early 1960s he became a lecturer in Belfast after attending university there, and began to publish poetry. He lived in Sandymount, Dublin from 1972 until his death.
Heaney was a professor at Harvard from 1981 to 1997 and its Poet in Residence from 1988 to 2006. From 1989 to 1994 he was also the Professor of Poetry at Oxford and in 1996 was made a Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres. Other awards that Heaney received include the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize (1968), the E. M. Forster Award (1975), the PEN Translation Prize (1985), the Golden ... more »
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Seamus Heaney Poems
I sat all morning in the college sick bay Counting bells knelling classes to a close. At two o'clock our neighbors drove me home.
Late August, given heavy rain and sun For a full week, the blackberries would ripen. At first, just one, a glossy purple clot Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
Between my finger and my thumb The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.
My father worked with a horse-plough, His shoulders globed like a full sail strung Between the shafts and the furrow. The horse strained at his clicking tongue.
Her scarf a la Bardot, In suede flats for the walk, She came with me one evening For air and friendly talk.
Death Of A Naturalist
All year the flax-dam festered in the heart Of the townland; green and heavy headed Flax had rotted there, weighted down by huge sods. Daily it sweltered in the punishing sun.
Requiem for the Croppies
The pockets of our greatcoats full of barley... No kitchens on the run, no striking camp... We moved quick and sudden in our own country. The priest lay behind ditches with the tramp.
We have no prairies To slice a big sun at evening-- Everywhere the eye concedes to Encrouching horizon,
And some time make the time to drive out west Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore, In September or October, when the wind And the light are working off each other
Act of Union
I To-night, a first movement, a pulse, As if the rain in bogland gathered head
She taught me what her uncle once taught her: How easily the biggest coal block split If you got the grain and the hammer angled right.
It is December in Wicklow: Alders dripping, birches Inheriting the last light, The ash tree cold to look at.
A Kite for Aibhín
Air from another life and time and place, Pale blue heavenly air is supporting A white wing beating high against the breeze,
There, in the corner, staring at his drink. The cap juts like a gantry's crossbeam, Cowling plated forehead and sledgehead jaw. Speech is clamped in the lips' vice.
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
I sat all morning in the college sick bay
Counting bells knelling classes to a close.
At two o'clock our neighbors drove me home.
In the porch I met my father crying--
He had always taken funerals in his stride--
And Big Jim Evans saying it was a hard blow.
The baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pram
When I came in, and I was embarrassed
By old men standing up to shake my hand
And tell me they were 'sorry for my trouble,'
Whispers informed strangers I was the eldest,
Away at school, as my mother held my hand
In hers and coughed out angry ...