|Seamus Heaney, 1939 to 2013|
The irrepressible, earthy and Nobel-Prize-winning poet-of-our-time, Seamus Heaney, died in Dublin on Friday after a short illness. You can read his obit almost anywhere now, which we, at Ecco Qua Press, cannot improve upon. (Here is the New York Times's.)
Heaney was known to us here personally, his having been a friend and colleague with our author, Bruce Guernsey (From Rain, Poems 1970 - 2010). They communicated about the book and Heaney was all grace and good will.
To honor his memory, we include a brief excerpt from a conversation Heaney shared at Harvard University (2011) with student Madeleine Beckman:
Trust your writing, but don’t always trust it will stay with you. I try not to give them too much hope. My own personality is skeptical and earnest and it’s my own attitude to my own work. I come here [to Harvard] and don’t write for five or six months of the year. Poetry isn’t important in one sense -- it’s more important to live your life and be a good person. Who cares about poetry, there’s plenty already around. Life is more important than art.
We close with a stanza of his poem: A Kite for Aibhín
After 'L'Aquilone' by Giovanni Pascoli (1855-1912)
Air from another life and time and place,
Pale blue heavenly air is supporting
A white wing beating high against the breeze . . .