Yesterday Seamus Heaney, the Nobel prize-winning Northern Irish poet, died in hospital in Dublin after a short illness.
Seamus Heaney was born in 1939 into a Catholic family living on a farm in Mossbawn, Co. Derry, Northern Ireland. He graduated from Queen's University, Belfast, where he later lectured on poetry. The accessibility of his early poems which dealt with personal and rural themes soon gained Heaney popularity with the poetry-reading public.
He married in 1965 and moved to the Republic of Ireland in 1972, eventually setting near Dublin. Heaney gradually moved away from personal themesto a more public concern with the contemporary Irish political issue and with Ireland's early history and myths. Heaney's collection, North (1975), is his most politically overt volume.
Returning to rural themes, he wrote Field Work (1979), a group of ten sonnets about living in the secluded, beautiful area of Glanmore, near Dublin.
Heaney's later works are denser and more complex than his early volumes. Station Island (1984) includes a series of ghostly encounters, one of them with James Joyce. The Haw Lantern (1987) contains a moving sonnet sequence about his dead mother, while Seeing Things (1991) has a number of poems about his father's death.
In 1984 he took up a university appointment at Harvard and in 1989 he became Professor of Poetry at Oxford. In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. With the poet Laureate Ted Hughes, he edited two popular anthologies of poetry - Rattle Bag (1985) and The School Bag (1997).
Here you can read an article about Heaney's life.
Here you can listen to Heaney’s Nobel Lecture Crediting Poetry delivered on 7 December 1995.
Seamus Heaney reads his poem The Underground at his publishers Faber and Faber on the occasion of his seventieth birthday and Faber's eightieth.
Here you can find a detailed analysis of this poem.
Have a look at this website for revision:
Poetry is always slightly mysterious, and you wonder what is your relationship to it.
If you have the words, there's always a chance that you'll find the way.
I can't think of a case where poems changed the world, but what they do is they change people's understanding of what's going on in the world.