On the passing of a northern reticent

The Irish poet Seamus Heaney has died, aged 74.

Taken from Alphabets, a work cited by the Swedish Academy when in 1995 its members award Heaney the Nobel Prize in Literature “for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past”

Here in her snooded garment and bare feet,
All ringleted in assonance and woodnotes,
The poet’s dream stole over him like sunlight
And passed into the tenebrous thickets.

He learns this other writing. He is the scribe
Who drove a team of quills on his white field.
Round his cell door the blackbirds dart and dab.
Then self-denial, fasting, the pure cold.

RIP Seamus Heaney (1939-2013)