Nobel Prize Winning Poet Seamus Heaney Dead at 74

Posted on August 30, 2013

The BBC reports that Nobel Prize winning Irish poet Seamus Heaney has died at the age of 74. Called the greatest Irish poet since Yeats, Heaney chronicled life in Ireland and the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Heaney's publisher Faber & Faber said that Mr. Heaney died from complications of a stroke that he suffered in 2006.

Heaney was an educator who taught at Queens College, Oxford University and Harvard University. His translation of Beowulf is critically acclaimed, as is his poetry. He has written volumes of poetry which is powerful, lyrical and yet accessible. He won scores of prizes, including the T.S. Eliot Prize and Nobel Prize for Literature. He was also awarded the French Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres.

The Irish Prime Minister, Enda Kenny, wrote in The Independent, "Seamus Heaney's death brings great sorrow to Ireland, to language and to literature. He is mourned -- and deeply -- wherever poetry and the world of the spirit are cherished and celebrated.For us, Seamus Heaney was the keeper of language, our codes, our essence as a people."

You can read The New York Times' obituary here.
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