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Old 09-01-2013, 04:31 PM
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Default Seamus Heany 1939-2013

Seamus Heany, maybe one of most read of all English language poets died this week. While he was not an avid fisher, he had a deep appreciation of teh natural world and included fishing friends in his work. In an interview, Seamus talked of fishing....

“The trouble then was that I wanted to fish with a fly and just never stayed at it long enough to learn to cast so that effort fizzled out too.* But inside my sixty-eight-year-old arm there’s a totally enlived twelve-year-old one, feeling the bite. And that’s enough for a lifetime of poems. That, and the memory of being out with Barrie on the Nore and once with Ted in Devon. Fleetness of water, stillness of air, stealthiness of action. Spots of time.”

But here is his elegy to a trout he watched from an arched Irish bridge.

TROUT
Hangs, a fat gun-barrel,
deep under arched bridges
or slips like butter down
the throat of the river.
From the depths smooth-skinned as plums
his muzzle gets bull's eye;
picks off grass-seed and moths
that vanish, torpedoed.
Where water unravels
over gravel-beds he
is fired from the shallows
white belly reporting
flat; darts like a tracer-
bullet back between stones
and is never burnt out.
A volley of cold blood
ramrodding the current.
s fontinalis and siege like this.
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Old 09-01-2013, 05:02 PM
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Default Re: Seamus Heany 1939-2013

Thank you for posting that. I had never read anything of his before. I will now.
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Old 09-01-2013, 06:33 PM
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Default Re: Seamus Heany 1939-2013

I studied Seamus Heaney poetry as a lad in school in Northern Ireland. Great writer, I'll have to pick h up a couple of his works for reading again. He was actually good friends with my English literature master
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Old 09-01-2013, 07:15 PM
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Default Re: Seamus Heany 1939-2013

I have really no idea who this guy was. Other than knowing he has passed. Don't remember ever reading anything of his throughout school. And poetry is definitely not my forte. You'd probably more likely confuse me for a 400m runner before you'd think I could recite a lick of poetry. But from all the news articles I see posted he was a well versed fellow.
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Old 09-01-2013, 07:45 PM
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Default Re: Seamus Heany 1939-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by itchmesir View Post
I have really no idea who this guy was. Other than knowing he has passed. Don't remember ever reading anything of his throughout school.
Not likely you would have run across him in school..Heany has not yet entered "The Canon" -- that select group of English writers that High School and College English teachers inflict on the young and impressionable. S. Fontinallis read him in Northern Ireland where Heany is much revered. He wrote against the backdrop of "The Troubles" -- the sectarian animosity that plagued Northern Ireland since the Government of Ireland Act of 1920. I am really only aware of him via a serious look at Irish History and, especially, Politics part of which was reading the great Irish Political Literature since the 1880s. Heany is popular among modern poetry fans but, as you suggest, that's a group that is not heavily represented here
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Old 09-01-2013, 08:50 PM
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Default Re: Seamus Heany 1939-2013

Thanks for clearing that up
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Old 09-02-2013, 02:04 PM
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Default Re: Seamus Heany 1939-2013

Heany was one of the greats. The "Ted" he refers to is undoubtedly Ted Hughes, another well-known English poet (and ex-wife of Sylvia Plath) who was an avid fly fisherman and wrote a lot of poems about fish and fishing.

Heany's translation of Beowulf is amazing--run, don't walk, to your nearest bookstore and get a copy.

Scott
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