Belfast Telegraph

At last I see the genius of Heaney

By Nuala McKeever

I only know a couple of Seamus Heaney poems I'm rather ashamed to admit. Poetry, like golf, has long been something I've felt inadequate about, not really 'getting it' and presuming that middle-age might be the time when its mysterious attraction becomes clear to me.

I'm middle aged now. And now, re-reading Seamus Heaney's poems, Digging and Death of a Naturalist, I feel like a child who's just entered a sweet shop that I've walked past every day without noticing.

Where has this wonderful confection BEEN all my life? Right here? Wow!

Why did nobody tell me how great it was?

"When the pupil is ready, the teacher will appear."

Now I'm ready to let in the beauty of his gift with words. I send up a belated thanks to him wherever he is.

Sometimes I wish I could write really well. Lately I'm just grateful that great writing exists and that I have some ability to appreciate it.

Belfast Telegraph

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