Fintan O’Toole Says ‘Comfort Best Found in Heaney’s Poems’

Poet Annie Deppe (Wren Cantata), who lives in County Galway with her husband poet Ted Deppe, sent this note on the death of Seamus Heaney:

We may be heading to Bellaghy on Monday for his burial. Take a look at the Irish Times. Fintan O’Toole’s article is worth checking out. There is a lot of coverage. The tears continue.

The entire country of Ireland is in mourning. The video clip interviews of ordinary people praising and remembering Seamus Heaney are stunning. Below is an excerpt from Fintan O’Toole’s beautiful essay in The Irish Times. Fintan O’Toole writes:

Like all great poets, Seamus Heaney was an alchemist.

He turned our disgrace into grace, our petty hatreds into epic generosity, our dull clichés into questioning eloquence, the leaden metal of brutal inevitability into the gold of pure possibility.

He lacked the arrogance to tell us who we are – much more importantly, he told us what we are. He reminded us that Ireland is a culture before it is an economy. And in the extraordinary way he bore himself, the dignity and decency and the mellow delight that shone from him, he gave us self-respect.

In The Tempest, Miranda exclaims “O brave new world, / That has such people in it.”
Seamus Heaney made us gasp in wonder that, for all its follies and terrors, Irish culture had such a person in it.

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