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Farewell to a Gentleman and a Scholar

August 30, 2013

Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney


News has just broken of the death of Seamus Heaney, Poet, Scholar and, most importantly, a decent man.
There will be eulogies from many more qualified than I. My ‘Seamus’story is a simple one, but it illustrates the man’s kindness and accessibility.
Last year I saw that he would be in Limerick at the Kate O’ Brien literary weekend. A friend of mine had been in his play The Cure at Troy, and I remembered the road in Co Dublin where he had attended Seamus and Marie’s after play party. I wrote, requesting an interview during the weekend in Limerick.
Since his earlier illness, Seamus Heaney had to take care of himself a bit more; to deny all and sundry constant access. And quite right too.
A reply to my letter arrived: he declined graciously, with regret as, he said, I ‘wrote a good letter’.
Disappointed? Not I.
If I treasure a letter from the man, what treasure is lost today by his family and friends?
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dilís.
Farewell to a Gentleman and a Scholar

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2 Comments
  1. First off I want to say great blog! I had a quick
    question in which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind. I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your thoughts
    before writing. I’ve had a tough time clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out.
    I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first
    10 to 15 minutes are lost just trying to figure out how to begin.

    Any recommendations or tips? Kudos!

    • Hi Anna? Or cataloglibrary?
      Anyhoo – here’s an answer to the question: I don’t really have the answer. Sometimes I feel I’m not doing enough writing at all!
      I think the trick is to really want to tackle a subject, then something will come – because it’s in there already. And the first 10 or 15 minutes are never lost – that’s where the ideas and phrases are floating. Honest!

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