Seamus Heaney, one of the greatest poets of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, has died today. He was 74. 

The Guardian has some wonderful coverage--videos of Heaney reading his poetry, a slideshow of Heaney through the years, even a picture of the poet's "reading room" in his Dublin house's attic.

Here is an excerpt from "Casualty":

... that morning  
I was taken in his boat,  
The Screw purling, turning  
Indolent fathoms white,  
I tasted freedom with him.  
To get out early, haul  
Steadily off the bottom,  
Dispraise the catch, and smile  
As you find a rhythm  
Working you, slow mile by mile,  
Into your proper haunt  
Somewhere, well out, beyond...

Anthony Domestico is chair of the English and Global Literatures Department at Purchase College, and a frequent contributor to Commonweal. His book Poetry and Theology in the Modernist Period is available from Johns Hopkins University Press.

Also by this author

Please email comments to [email protected] and join the conversation on our Facebook page.

© 2024 Commonweal Magazine. All rights reserved. Design by Point Five. Site by Deck Fifty.