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A great one gone

Seamus Heaney died today. Obituaries and tributes will be written by people far more familiar with him and his work than I am. I will just say this: his translation of Beowulf is astonishing. It is grip-the-book-open, keep-turning-the-pages good. In a word, brilliant.

Here's something I found while reading different Heaney tributes and obituaries. Check out the video clip:


A great Heaney quotation on writing that I found in the London Telegraph: “The gift of writing is to be self-forgetful, to get a surge of inner life or inner supply or unexpected sense of empowerment, to be afloat, to be out of yourself.”

Here's a link leading to another reading:


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 31st, 2013 02:54 am (UTC)
Lovely voice - I sat and listened to some of the Beowulf today on Youtube...

Aug. 31st, 2013 03:51 am (UTC)
I way way too young when I tried to read Beowulf: elementary school, I think. And then there was the Woody Allen line in Annie Hall: "Don't take any course where you have to read Beowulf." Heaney's version was on the reading list for a grad-level Early English course I took maybe five years ago. I didn't have much hope, but it didn't take me long to realize that I was reading work by a master. I'm going to have to pull the book off of the cellar bookshelves and give that YouTube stuff a listen.
Sep. 1st, 2013 04:02 pm (UTC)
I heard him speak at AWP in Boston last March. He was a wonderful speaker and a truly breathtaking poet. A great loss, for sure.
Sep. 1st, 2013 04:22 pm (UTC)
I'm envious.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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