‘Midterm Break’ was the first poem I ever studied, understood and enjoyed.
North was the first collection of poetry I ever read on my own, not because a teacher had told me, and though I didn’t get the complexity at the time I was still engrossed by poetry -something I had never believed possible before.
Seamus Heaney was one of the first poets I taught and I got to see teenagers faces light up, like mine once had, when they heard the last line of ‘Midterm Break’ or when they dug deeper and deeper through the layers of his bog poetry.
In 2012 I had the pleasure of meeting him and shaking his hand and trying to explain, in a fumbling way, just how important he was.
I heard on Friday morning. My friend texted me. I passed the news on and we all spent the day in a daze. It’s difficult to mourn someone when so much of him is still alive, sitting between pages on my bookshelves.
May he rest in peace.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam