Poetry lost its voice today. One of its more wondrous voices, that is, given the news of the death of Seamus Heaney today, 74 years after his birth in Ireland’s County Derry.
One best heard Heaney – the simple words and complex verse that earned him the 1995 Nobel Prize for Literature – when the poet delivered his poetry in his own voice. Listen here to his wonderful 2001 translation of Beowulf, the 10th-century epic poem. And see below Heaney’s rendering of his own work, the love poem Scaffolding: