As an afterword and for deeper background (pardon the pun) to the previous post on Heaney…from a very interesting blog


Seamus Heaney, the Irish poet who won The Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995, died last week aged 74. His 1966 poems Death of a Naturalist give the essence of his early life tending the soil as a farmer’s son:

Between my fingers and my thumb, the squat pen rests

I’ll dig with it.

From then onwards he turned his art to the Irish landscape, its history and hardship.

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Waterlogged valleys across Ireland since the last ice-age have formed thousands of raised bogs across the country. For centuries the dead vegetation accumulated in these bogs as peat, and this poor fuel became the main source of energy for the people of Heaney’s beloved Ireland.

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Bogland 1969:

We have no prairies
To slice a big sun at evening–
Everywhere the eye concedes to
Encrouching horizon,

Is wooed into the cyclops’ eye
Of a tarn…

View original post 87 more words

About Margaret Jean Langstaff

A lifelong critical reader with literary tastes, a novelist, short story writer, essayist, book critic, and professional book editor for many years. A consultant to publishers and authors, providing manuscript critiques and a full range of editorial services. A friend and supporter of all other readers and writers. A collector of signed modern first editions. Animal lover and tree hugger. Follow me on Twitter @LangstaffEditor
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2 Responses to Bogland

  1. Mathew Paust says:

    Must admit I hadn’t heard of the man until last week. Now I’m learning much and appreciating what I missed.


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