Seamus Heaney: 'Walk on air against your better judgement'

On 30 August 2013, news of the death of Nobel Prize-winning poet, Seamus Heaney, was met with sorrow around the world. He was universally admired for his kindness as well as for his poems, which ‘gaze into the reality of the world and see its mystery’. Writing in Thinking Faith, on National Poetry Day, Edel McClean pays tribute to the life and work of a man whose death, according to his fellow poet, Don Paterson, ‘seems to have left a breach in the language itself’.

It is hard not to be amazed that the death of a poet, of all things, made front pages around the world five weeks ago. Few contemporary writers have been held in such united, unreserved admiration as Seamus Heaney. We can expect a poet with poet friends to have beautiful things said about him after his death. Here we are not disappointed – Don Paterson wrote that, ‘the death of this beloved man seems to have left a breach in the language itself’.

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