"Nobel laureate Heaney is a pastoralist with a strong and critical sense of history. His rich and earthy poems are about the life of the land of northern Ireland as well as the evolution of the heavily mythologized Irish identity. Heaney's sonorous lyricism stems from his love of the cycles of country life, the mystery of the sea, the satisfying rhythm of hard, physical work. But Heaney loves poetry and poetics as well as nature and expresses this passion in his forceful if demanding literary essays. This is his third book of criticism, and it contains 10 lectures Heaney delivered as professor of poetry at Oxford. In the title essay, Heaney explains how poetry balances the 'scales of reality towards some transcendent equilibrium.' After considering all the burdens contemporary poets carry, from the long tradition of the form itself to pressing political perspectives, Heaney still insists that 'poetry cannot afford to lose its fundamentally self-delighting inventiveness.' This viewpoint underlies his shrewd essays on George Herbert, Christopher Marlowe, the Irish poet Brian Merriman, Dylan Thomas, Philip Larkin, and Elizabeth Bishop." --Booklist
Celebrating the Life and Work of Seamus Heaney | Work in Progress
Seamus Heaney’s death last week left a rift in our lives, and in poetry, that won’t easily be mended. A Nobel Laureate, a devoted husband, a sharp translator, a beloved friend, and the big-hearted leader of the “Government of the Tongue,” Seamus was a poet of conscience...
- FSG's Work in Progress