HIGH-VOLTAGE HEANEY

High-voltage-HeaneyNotes on a Voice: Christina Patterson tunes into the poet who made English sing

From INTELLIGENT LIFE magazine, January/February 2014

In a poem in “Electric Light”, Seamus Heaney talked of “language that can still knock language sideways”. This is what he did. He took ordinary words like “sod” and “drain” and “rot” and turned them to gold.

When he won the Nobel prize, in 1995, he was praised for “works of lyrical beauty and ethical depths which exalt everyday miracles and the living past”. Heaney, who died in August aged 74, never called his poems “miracles”, but he did talk about falling in love with the “voltage” of language. He wanted, he said, to write with “a musically satisfying order of sounds”, and more than almost any poet of the past 50 years, he made English sing.

Famous Seamus, as he came to be known, scooped most of the big prizes for poetry, and sold more books than most of his peers combined. But if he seemed to retain the common touch in the way he wrote and spoke, this was only because he hid the art.

Read the complete article

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under News, Reviews, Study

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s