Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A poet speaks ...

... Adam Kirsch on Seamus Heaney: In the Word-Hoard. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Heaney was not yet forty years old when Robert Lowell proclaimed him "the best Irish poet since W.B. Yeats," but already he was no stranger to anointings. The oldest of nine children, he grew up on a farm in Northern Ireland, and the labors and pleasures of that rural life have been an inexhaustible subject for his verse. At the age of twelve, Heaney was sent off to a Catholic boarding school, St. Columb's College, whereupon "I shifted," he recalls, "into a kind of separateness, but also a kind of privilege." "I was being 'educated,' and that meant being set a bit apart."

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