Home > Uncategorized > Seamus Heaney, Irish Poet of Soil and Strife, Dies at 74

Seamus Heaney, Irish Poet of Soil and Strife, Dies at 74


“Digging,” the first poem in his first collection, “The Death of a Naturalist,” described his father digging potatoes and his grandfather digging turf. The last lines seemed to set down his personal manifesto:

The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap

Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge

Through living roots awaken in my head.

But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb

The squat pen rests.

I’ll dig with it.

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