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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Sweeney Astray

Sweeney Astray

A Version from the Irish

Seamus Heaney

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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Sweeney Astray is Seamus Heaney's version of the medieval Irish work Buile Suibne. Its here, Mad Sweeney, undergoes a series of purgatorial adventures after he is cursed by a saint and turned into a bird at the Battle of Moira. Heaney's translation not only restores to us a work of historical and literary importance but offers the genius of one of our greatest living poets to reinforce its claims on the reader of contemporary literature.

Praise for Sweeney Astray

"...[B]ut what one remembers most about ''Sweeney Astray'' is the delicate, dramatic balance between pain and praise. The poem is a balanced statement about a tragically unbalanced mind." - The New York Times Book Review

In the Press

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

Reviews from Goodreads

Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney (1939-2013) received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995. His poems, plays, translations, and essays include Opened Ground, Electric Light, Beowulf, The Spirit Level, District and Circle, and Finders Keepers. Robert Lowell praised Heaney as the "most important Irish poet since Yeats."

image of Seamus Heaneyo
Photograph by John Minihan. Copyright of University College Cork.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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