One of the leading Irish poets and Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney died on Friday at the age of 74. A statement issued by Heaney’s publisher, Faber & Faber, and his family informed that the poet died in a Dublin hospital. Since 2006, he had been recovering from a stroke.
Heaney had written total 13 poetry collections, 4 prose works, 2 plays, and many other works during his experience with Ireland’s political torment and exploration of Ireland’s wild beauty for almost a half-century. The Northern Ireland-born poet had been considered as the greatest poet of the country since William Butler Yeats.
After Yeats and Samuel Beckett, Heaney was the third Irish to become the Nobel laureate in literature. He won that honor in 1995.
The poet’s fellow writers, political leaders, and others paid torrent of tributes to him. Michael D. Higgins, the Irish President and himself a poet, said that Heaney had a warm personality with full of humor and courtesy.
Enda Kenny, the Irish Prime Minister, said that they were blessed and fortunate that Seamus Heaney was an Irishman. He also added that the nation had no words to express its grief over the departure of the poet.
Heaney’s early works featured dramatic and brilliant description of rural experience. However, he walked on different tracks with the passing of time and depicted the contradictions and frictions of his homeland in his works. In fact, the frictions between Catholics and Protestants deeply moved Heaney and influenced his works too.
Heaney started appearing in public readings and as a guest lecturer as different universities throughout the world after winning the Nobel Prize. However, he took a break from his public commitments after his stroke in 2006.
Heaney left his wife Marie and three children Catherine, Michael, and Christopher. His funeral arrangements were yet to be announced.