Trinity College Dublin Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast Pays Tribute to Seamus Heaney
Aug 30, 2013
“It is with deep sadness that we learned of Seamus Heaney’s death today. He had a long standing relationship with Trinity, having been an Honorary Fellow since 1998. Many of us who had the privilege to know him formed a deep respect and admiration for this great poet, who was also a gentleman in every way.
He gave of his time and intellect so freely, and many of us will fondly remember recent events such as a special evening in Trinity where he read his poetry joined by six translators, or his own reading of Milton’s Paradise Lost as part of a charity fundraiser last Christmas.
As a tribute to him as Ireland’s greatest poets and a great friend to Trinity, a new professorship, the Seamus Heaney Professor in Irish Writing was recently named in his honour.
We hope that this seminal appointment in Irish academia will act as a form of legacy to his significant contribution to Irish writing and literary studies.
Seamus Heaney was a literary and cultural ambassador for Ireland, defining our artistic sensibility through the depth and scope of his poetry. He was an iconic figure in world literature, and brought to his work a uniquely Irish perspective situated in a global literary and intellectual context. He will take his place among other great Irish writers of his generation and before, and inspire the minds of those who want to capture with words the ordinary in extraordinary ways.
I wish to extend my condolences to his wife Marie and his family”.
‘The space we stood around had been emptied
Into us to keep, it penetrated
Clearances that suddenly stood open.
High cries were felled and a pure change happened’. From ‘Clearances’, The Haw Lantern, 1987
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