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100 Poems

Seamus Heaney

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

100 Poems Download image

ISBN10: 0374538972
ISBN13: 9780374538972

Trade Paperback

192 Pages


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Seamus Heaney had the idea to make a personal selection of poems from across the entire arc of his writing life, a collection small yet comprehensive enough to serve as an introduction for all comers. He never managed to do this himself, but now, finally, the project has been returned to, resulting in an intimate gathering of poems chosen and introduced by the Heaney family. No other selection of Heaney’s poems exists that has such a broad range, drawing from the first to the last of his prizewinning collections.

In 100 Poems, readers will enjoy the most loved and celebrated poems, and will discover new favorites. It is a singular and welcoming anthology, reaching far and wide, for now and for years to come.


Praise for 100 Poems

"100 Poems—a short, career-spanning selection—completes a project that Heaney began during his lifetime. Compiled by Heaney’s 'immediate family,' with a preface by his daughter Catherine, it highlights his work as a poet of friendship and family, of careful and long-felt affiliation, not only to land and language but to the people who stayed with him throughout the decades . . . as 100 Poems emphasizes, for any of his admirers who have not noticed—Heaney remained a poet of attachments. In life and in death, he would not work alone."—Stephanie Burt, The New Yorker

“In this wonderfully produced book's family note, daughter Catherine Heaney writes that this collection may differ from the one her father planned or from a collection that might have been produced by an independent editor, adding: 'rather than being an in memoriam volume, this collection is intended as a celebration of the extraordinary person who gave us these poems’ . . . It succeeds brilliantly in that ambition.”—The Irish News

“Most great poets leave behind a fistful of classic poems. Heaney’s oeuvre is so vast and varied there’s an even hundred, from the sad realism of 'Wedding' to 'Clearances,' his poignant poem about potato peeling with his mother, to 'Digging,' the credo of any seeker with a pen and a history to uncover. They’re all collected here in one handy handsome volume, the new best selection of his work yet.”—John Freeman, Literary Hub

Reviews from Goodreads


Read an Excerpt


Between my finger and my thumb

The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.

Under my window, a clean rasping sound

When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:

My father, digging. I look down

Till his straining...

About the author

Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney (1939–2013) was born in Northern Ireland. Death of a Naturalist, his first collection of poems, appeared in 1966 and was followed by numerous volumes of poetry, plays, criticism, and translation, establishing him as one of the leading English-language poets of his generation. In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. His translation of Virgil’s Aeneid Book VI was published posthumously in 2016 to great critical acclaim.

Photograph by John Minihan. Copyright of University College Cork.

Seamus Heaney

Official Links

Read Author Bio at Britannica

Read Author Bio at Nobel Prize