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Seamus Heaney

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August 30, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Seamus Heaney, the poet and essayist from Ireland who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1995, has died . He was 74. An Irish Catholic who was growing up in Ulster when the Troubles began and who later moved to Dublin, Heaney engaged with the violence in Northern Ireland, sometimes through history and myth, exploring the conflicting emotions it raised. "We lived deep in a land of optative moods, / under high, banked clouds of resignation," he wrote in "From the canton of expectation.
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October 31, 2013 | By Hector Tobar
Happy birthday, John Keats. The Romantic poet best known for his odes -- "Ode on a Grecian Urn," "Ode on Indolence," "Ode on Melancholy," "Ode to a Nightingale" and "Ode to Psyche" -- was born 218 years ago today. The great English poet died in 1821 at the age of 25. He was born on Halloween in 1795, more than a century before English children took up the custom of wearing costumes on All Hallows' Eve, though he surely would have enjoyed listening to goblins recite a certain rhyme at their neighbor's doors.
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ENTERTAINMENT
September 2, 2013 | By Robert Faggen
Thirty years ago, I became a graduate teaching fellow in a popular undergraduate course at Harvard University called Modern Anglo-Irish Poetry. What made it popular? The subject matter was certainly rich. But the professor, Seamus Heaney, was the special attraction. He was already a major figure in the poetic landscape; we watched him artfully mapping its peculiar geography. Heaney, who died Friday in Dublin at age 74, was powerful and widely read, receiving countless honors, including the Nobel Prize.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 2, 2013 | By Robert Faggen
Thirty years ago, I became a graduate teaching fellow in a popular undergraduate course at Harvard University called Modern Anglo-Irish Poetry. What made it popular? The subject matter was certainly rich. But the professor, Seamus Heaney, was the special attraction. He was already a major figure in the poetic landscape; we watched him artfully mapping its peculiar geography. Heaney, who died Friday in Dublin at age 74, was powerful and widely read, receiving countless honors, including the Nobel Prize.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 30, 2013 | By Henry Chu
LONDON -- Seamus Heaney, the Nobel Prize-winning poet whose crystalline, descriptive verse led many to consider him the best Irish poet since Yeats, died Thursday. He was 74. His death was confirmed by his publishers, Faber and Faber, which said that it could not "adequately express our profound sorrow at the loss of one of the world's greatest writers. His impact on literary culture is immeasurable. " The publishing house said in a statement issued on behalf of his family that Heaney died in a Dublin hospital after a short illness.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 30, 2013 | By Hector Tobar
Seamus Heaney was already one of Ireland's best-known poets when the sectarian violence of "The Troubles" swept through Northern Ireland in the 1970s and '80s. An Irish Republican activist spotted him on a train and challenged Heaney to craft some words in support of the IRA fighters then waging a hunger strike in a British prison. Heaney declined. Instead he wrote dark verses about death drifting across the Irish landscape and a 1979 poem called "The Singer's House" that defended the right of art to exist for its own sake, even in times of war. "When I came here first you were always singing," Heaney wrote, in response to a friend's decision to cancel a music recording session after a Belfast bombing.
BOOKS
May 23, 1993
In the middle of the journey of our life I found myself astray in a dark wood where the straight road had been lost sight of. How hard it is to say what it was like in the thick of thickets, in a wood so dense and gnarled the very thought of it renews my panic. It is bitter almost as death itself is bitter. But to rehearse the good it also brought me I will speak about the other things I saw there.
BOOKS
February 9, 1992
He'll never rise again but he is ready. Entered like a mirror by the morning, He stares out the big window, wondering, Not caring if the day is bright or cloudy. An upstairs outlook on the whole country. First milk-lorries, first smoke, cattle, trees In damp opulence above damp hedges-- He has it to himself, he is like a sentry Forgotten and unable to remember The whys and wherefores of his lofty station, Wakening relieved yet in position, Disencumbered as a breaking comber.
BOOKS
October 25, 1987 | Robert Mezey, Mezey's most recent book of verse is "Evening Wind" (Wesleyan University Press)
Seamus Heaney's admirers, who are legion, will welcome his new book warmly and will find in it much to admire. It is a characteristic book, both in its virtues and its defects. The virtues are considerable. Heaney commands a rich and various word-hoard, taking contagious delight in its multitude of shapes and sounds, and he has had from the beginning a gift for the accurate and vivid phrase. He enjoys the power of rime and meter and is capable of using them with effect.
BOOKS
May 19, 2002 | JOHN PALATTELLA, John Palattella writes about poetry for the London Review of Books, the Nation and Dissent.
Very late in his life, W.B. Yeats imagined himself in the Municipal Gallery of Dublin among paintings honoring the heroes of recent Irish history. "Around me the images of thirty years," the poet writes in "The Municipal Gallery Revisited," and after lingering among the portraits and the memories they evoke, he concludes, "Think where man's glory most begins and ends/And say my glory was I had such friends."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 30, 2013 | By Henry Chu
LONDON -- Seamus Heaney, the Nobel Prize-winning poet whose crystalline, descriptive verse led many to consider him the best Irish poet since Yeats, died Thursday. He was 74. His death was confirmed by his publishers, Faber and Faber, which said that it could not "adequately express our profound sorrow at the loss of one of the world's greatest writers. His impact on literary culture is immeasurable. " The publishing house said in a statement issued on behalf of his family that Heaney died in a Dublin hospital after a short illness.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 30, 2013 | By Hector Tobar
Seamus Heaney was already one of Ireland's best-known poets when the sectarian violence of "The Troubles" swept through Northern Ireland in the 1970s and '80s. An Irish Republican activist spotted him on a train and challenged Heaney to craft some words in support of the IRA fighters then waging a hunger strike in a British prison. Heaney declined. Instead he wrote dark verses about death drifting across the Irish landscape and a 1979 poem called "The Singer's House" that defended the right of art to exist for its own sake, even in times of war. "When I came here first you were always singing," Heaney wrote, in response to a friend's decision to cancel a music recording session after a Belfast bombing.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 30, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Seamus Heaney, the poet and essayist from Ireland who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1995, has died . He was 74. An Irish Catholic who was growing up in Ulster when the Troubles began and who later moved to Dublin, Heaney engaged with the violence in Northern Ireland, sometimes through history and myth, exploring the conflicting emotions it raised. "We lived deep in a land of optative moods, / under high, banked clouds of resignation," he wrote in "From the canton of expectation.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 13, 2011 | By Carmela Ciuraru, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Carl Dennis is known for his quiet lyricism, and his latest, "Callings" (Penguin: $18 paper), is similarly contemplative and restrained. Yet beneath their reticent surface, these poems brim with big questions about vocation, regret, identity and other issues, as in "Outdoor Café": No book or paper, and no expectation A friend will be joining me later on. Just the silent acceptance of life As it flows in the talk around me. With its constant questioning of what might have been and what's been lost, "Callings" is an apt poetic companion in these uncertain and anxious economic times.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 5, 2010 | By Tim Rutten, Los Angeles Times
Stepping Stones Interviews with Seamus Heaney Edited by Dennis O'Driscoll Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $18 paper Irish Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney is our greatest living poet, and here's a combination for connoisseurs. "Stepping Stones" is a book-length series of linked interviews with the poet conducted by poet Dennis O'Driscoll. It all adds up to an autobiography. When Heaney recently turned 70, Ireland's national radio had the poet record his readings of his poems for broadcast.
OPINION
April 15, 2009 | TIM RUTTEN
Seamus Heaney, the greatest living English-language poet, turned 70 this week. The Irish, of course, take their poets more seriously than most -- and they take their Nobel laureates, of whom Heaney is the fourth, very seriously indeed. Monday, then, was quite a day for the Derry-born farmer's son now known to literary Dublin's sharp-tongued gossips as "famous Seamus." Famous he surely is.
BOOKS
June 18, 2006 | Benjamin Lytal, Benjamin Lytal teaches at the Pratt Institute and writes fiction.
"WERE we not made for summer, shade and coolness / And gazing through an open door at sunlight? / For paradise lost?" So asked Seamus Heaney in his 2001 collection, "Electric Light." He views summer from the shade, from indoors, not just because it is cool, but because the shadows betoken the fall to come. He is that lover of nature who appreciates the whole package, from spring flower to moldy underbrush to arctic ice.
BOOKS
June 9, 1996 | RICHARD EDER
A dusty clump resembling a nettle grew near the rubbish heap behind Seamus Heaney's childhood home. It was mint, though. Its pungency: spelled promise And newness in the backyard of our life As if something callow yet tenacious Sauntered in green alleys and grew rife. "Mint" is one of many childhood recollections in Heaney's new collection, "The Spirit Level." His Irish farmhouse beginnings have been the launch point and beacon for a poetry that has gone immeasurably beyond them.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 22, 2006 | Tim Rutten, Times Staff Writer
CIARAN CARSON is one of the most accomplished among the astonishing number of formidable poets who have issued from Ulster over the last three generations. In his elegy on the death of Yeats, Auden mused that "mad Ireland stung him into poetry." Northern Ireland, where that madness has lingered longest, more recently has prodded artists like Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, Medbh McGuckian, Frank Ormsby and Carson into stunning poems and wonderfully readable translations.
BOOKS
September 24, 2006 | Nick Owchar
"TOGETHER, both as one, / We lifted our dripping blades in the dying light ... " -- the haunting, Dantean river journey of Thomas Kinsella's "Downstream" makes other poems inspired by the brooding Tuscan seem like homework. And when the poem's imagery of a skiff moving under starry skies effortlessly shifts to stark visions of a concentration camp's "tall chimneys flickering," one wonders why this Irish poet isn't as revered as Seamus Heaney.
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