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Seamus Heaney Passes Away but Lives on through His Poetry

heaneyThis article by Mark Memmott first appeared in NPR.

Seamus Heaney, “acclaimed by many as the best Irish poet since Yeats,” has died, the BBC and other news outlets are reporting.

Heaney was 74 and had recently been in ill health. According to The Irish Times, he died Friday morning at the Blackrock Clinic in Dublin. Sky TV has a short statement from Heaney’s family announcing his death. The Associated Press adds that Heaney’s publisher, Faber & Faber, has also confirmed the news.

Heaney was awarded the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature. Writer and literary critic Ola Larsmo said then that Heaney’s poetry reveals “a profound experience … that a gap exists between the totality of what can be said and the totality of all that can be witnessed, between the limits of languages and the margins of the actual world in which we live. For Heaney ‘poetry’ is a means of measuring this gap – if not bridging it.”

In 2008, Heaney told All Thing Considered that “I have always thought of poems as stepping stones in one’s own sense of oneself…[more]

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