Seamus Heaney, All Day

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the publication of Death of a Naturalist [a new edition has been published along with his new collection District and Circle] BBC Radio Ulster have declared today to be Heaney Day [updated link] and will be broadcasting a series of interviews and specially recorded programmes throughout the day, including an interview with Seamus Heaney. Marie-Louise Muir wrote about that interview in the Belfast Telegraph, and Cyber Scribe thoughtfully posted the full article. With luck [fingers crossed] the BBC will add links to the archived shows after broadcasting them [because their current archive is a nightmare – Ed] UpdatedIf I can, I’ll add links to the programmes here.

But while I wait for those, I’ll add a link to two recent poems from Seamus Heaney, published in A Shiver, and also included in District and Circle.

Out of Shot and Höfn

Update

First link. Seamus Heaney and the Group – The story of the creative writing group which met every Monday evening near Queen’s University in the 1960’s, gathered together under the benign dictatorship of Philip Hobsbawn. [link now working]

Another Update

“Celebrating the 40th anniversary of Death of a Naturalist, Marie-Louise speaks to Seamus Heaney about his formative early years and the influence they had on this now famous debut collection.”

Interview available here[RealPlayer audio file – 50 minutes]

  • Pete Baker

    Thanks Kevin.

    Interesting quote from Heaney in the Telegraph link –

    “Let me quote my hero, Milosz: ‘Poetry below a certain level of awareness does not interest me.’ I think there’s a problem with political poetry that is howling that it’s aware.”

  • David Michael

    ” I think there’s a problem with political poetry that is howling that it’s aware.”

    Wow, one of those fabulous lines I wish I could have written!

  • Indeed. I actually saved that quote the moment I read it. No doubt I’ll have lost it by the time I want to employ it.

  • The Devil

    Was that you with the axe Mr Baker

  • susan

    Perhaps it was only “the famous Northern reticence,” Mr. Devil.

    Links to 1988 and 1998 interviews with Heaney, as well as to Heaney reciting “Bogland”:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour/audiointerviews/profilepages/heaneys1.shtml

  • The Devil

    I shall rephrase it for you Mr Baker though it will mean the same.

    Poetry is the vehicle of the coward

    Poets are cowards that hide behind the vehicle wearing the mask of intelligencia

    Revolutionaries and Capitalists are brothers because their lips retell the story of their hearts

    Poets and Bureaucrats are brothers because their lips retell the story of their hearts only after their minds have encrypted it and detoured it through their kidneys and the story has been watered down and now left open to interpetation.

  • David Michael

    The Devil

    ” the mask of intelligencia”

    I’ve seen it! It’s in on display in a little museum in Intelligencia, which lies 32 km north of Valencia.

    The mask is believed to be Moorish but the experts continue to argue about this. (BTW A restaurant nearby does a superb seafood platter.)

  • susan

    Doesn’t it seem a bit over the top to decide you can define what all poetry is for all people, Devil? That last post of yours could arguable be a poem:

    Poetry is…by The Devil, 17 April 2006

    Poetry is
    the vehicle of the coward

    Poets are
    cowards that hide behind the vehicle
    wearing the mask of intelligencia

    Revolutionaries and Capitalists are brothers
    because
    their lips retell the story of their hearts

    Poets and Bureaucrats are brothers
    because
    their lips retell the story of their hearts
    only after
    their minds have encrypted it
    and detoured it
    through their kidneys

    and the story has been watered down
    and now
    left open to interpetation.

  • Pete Baker

    A quick bump to point out, for those who are interested *ahem*, that the interview is now avaiable online – see link in the update to the original post.

  • Conor Gillespie

    Susan,
    “Doesn’t it seem a bit over the top to decide you can define what all poetry is for all people, Devil?”

    Wordsworth didn’t mind doing it……