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Seamus Heaney – A Literary Genius

Seeing as I blogged about Sylvia Plath (my other favourite poet) the other day, I felt that it would be grossly unfair of me not to blog about Seamus Heaney – a man who is, in my opinion, the greatest Irish poet, and perhaps one of the greatest poets of modern times. His poetry transports the reader and evokes some of the most powerful and beautiful emotions – those of nostalgia and love.

Similar to Plath, I haven’t actually read that many of Heaney’s poems. I studied him in school, but the poems we did read were stunning. I loved how he intertwined the worlds of Jutland and Northern Ireland in Tollund Man, and how he portrayed the maturity, beauty and hilarity of his marriage in The Skunk (Definitely read this one, it’s hilarious and alluring). I fell in love with Mossbawn: Sunlight because of the delicious imagery that danced across the page. The colours seemed to leap out of that poem, and the portrayal of his Aunt Mary was warm and maternal.

My favourite poem of his is one that I read many years ago, actually, called Mid-Term Break. The peom tells a devastating true story of the death of Heaney’s brother – he was hit by a car at four years of age and killed. The poem really is rife with emotion, and could be described as the ultimate poem of grief. It is one of the most heart-wrenching pieces of writing I have ever read. Take a read of some of his poems and tell me what you think!


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