How fortunate I was to have heard him read last year at Poetry Parnassus at the South Bank.
‘Seamus Heaney was a treat that will last me the rest of my lifetime. Of course he pandered to the audience by reading ‘Diggin’, where digging through his own family roots he comes to accept his own heritage and family traditions.’
This was an extract from my blog https://annperrin.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/12532/ about the event.
How could I have given the man such a cursory comment? In my defence, with three poet laureates reading their work and such a lot going on, perhaps it was excusable.
Since that occasion two people I have come to know, both with a fondness of all things poetic, Ryan from one of John McCullough’s courses and Simon, a good neighbour, have given me copies of books of poems by Seamus Heaney from their own collections ‘Death of a Naturalist’ ‘Field Work’ and ‘Station Island’. There is something special about people giving you a valued item even if they do assure you they can read it all on the internet.
Today, of course, I brought them down from the shelf to read again. The death of Seamus Heaney seems like losing a friend although I only came to his work in later years and heard him read in person just that once.