He was just seventy-four. He was due to read at the Folger Shakespeare Library in the spring and I was very much looking forward to it.
Not so long ago, I had some book money burning a hole in my pocket and I had some thoughts about what I might buy, but when I saw Heaney’s Field Work, that was what I knew I had to get. And when I lived in Atlanta, Chapter 11 books sold me a beautiful copy of his translation of Beowulf.
He wore the mantle of Yeats well. I’m not saying he was Yeats’ equal, because… who is? But as a mythologizer, elegist, and obliquely political poet, he carried on some of Yeats’ mission.
Anyway. This is just sad. Really sad.