Seamus Heaney Remembered with Love

Today marks the second anniversary of the death of Irish poet, Seamus Heaney, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995.

Seamus Heaney Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland
Seamus Heaney
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Seamus Heaney’s poetry, as regular readers will know, has been very dear to my heart, especially since I heard him read at the Kikenny Arts Festival in August 2009, just weeks after my mother’s death and at a time when my father was very frail indeed.

Heaney’s work is wide-ranging in terms of theme but, for me, his writings about his family, particularly his late parents, resonate very strongly and never fail to bring solace.

Last night, I was perusing the various volumes of his work that have their home on my desk beside the computer and found myself returning over and over to what I suspect may be his shortest poem of all.

The Strand

The dotted line my father’s ashplant made

On Sandymount Strand

Is something else the tide won’t wash away.

(Seamus Heaney, Opened Ground: Poems 1966-1996Faber and Faber)

The tide has ebbed and flowed rhythmically over the last two years and it certainly hasn’t washed away any of the lines crafted by Seamus Heaney. If anything, it has brought more and more of them up onto the shores of new waves of poetry lovers from all across the world.