Heaney said that his daughter recently looked at a copy of his poem "Digging" which was dated 1964 since that's when he wrote it, and she noted that he was as old then as she is now, and she said he was very confident. He said he wasn't confident, the poem was.
He quoted Yeats and said he has a friend who writes him letters "Dear Bundle..." which i adore.
Even when the poet seems most himself…he is never the bundle of accident and incoherence that sits down to breakfast; he has been reborn as an idea, something intended, complete.There's a great line in "Mid-term Break": "Snowdrops and candles soothed the bedside"
-William Butler Yeats, Essays and Introductions
Seamus Heaney on Wordsworth: "cheerfulness with an ‘a' is really cheerful"
Talking about when a great tree falls: an absence, but full of light.
For a split second as if nothing had happened"The Skylight" is my new favorite poem of his even though i hadn't ever heard it before tonight.
For nothing had that had not always happened
-From Clearances 5
The SkylightIn his introduction to "Horace and the Thunder" he said that clear blue skies changed after September 11th.
You were the one for skylights. I opposed
Cutting into the seasoned tongue-and-groove
Of pitch pine. I liked it low and closed,
Its claustrophobic, nest up-in-the-roof
Effect. I liked the snuff-dry feeling,
The perfect, trunk-lid fit of the old ceiling.
Under there, it was all hutch and hatch.
The blue slates kept the heat like midnight thatch.
But when the slates came off, extravagant
Sky entered and held surprise wide open.
For days I felt like an inhabitant
Of that house where the man sick of the palsy
Was lowered through the roof, had his sins forgiven,
Was healed, took up his bed and walked away.
Horace and the ThunderAnd finally, he pronounces "glacier" as 3 syllables.
After Horace, Odes 1, 34
Anything can happen. You know how Jupiter
Will mostly wait for clouds to gather head
Before he hurls the lightning? Well, just now,
He galloped his thunder-cart and his horses
Across a clear blue sky. It shook the earth
And the clogged underneath, the River Styx,
The winding streams, the Atlantic shore itself.
Anything can happen, the tallest things
Be overturned, those in high places daunted,
Those overlooked esteemed. Hooked-beak Fortune
Swoops, making the air gasp, tearing off
Crests for sport, letting them drop wherever.
Ground gives. The heaven's weight
Lifts up off Atlas like a kettle lid,
Capstones shift, nothing resettles right.
Telluric ash and fire-spores darken day.