Connecting with Seamus Heaney

David Fawbert

Over half a century Seamus Heaney  developed into perhaps the finest poet writing in the English language. Born in April 1939 at Mossbawn, Castledawson he passed away on August 30th, 2013, in Dublin.

David Fawbert enjoyed the challenge of connecting with the poet’s messages, both manifest and veiled, so much that, as a former Modern Language teacher in Secondary Education, he felt that students of Seamus Heaney around the globe might appreciate a set approach towards individual poems that would help them unravel both content and style.

What follow are the texts themselves grouped according to the collections in which they were published.

Textual survey is accompanied by pointers to style and composition.
The whole is written so as to be accessible to students whose first language may not be English.

‘My neighbour is all mankind’, said Heaney in ‘Electric Light’ and countless lyrics from each and every one of his collections bring to life the characters he came across as a growing boy and the locality he shared with them. He celebrates family, neighbours and treasured local places with huge love and indelible memory.

I urge all those of you who are passionate about Seamus Heaney to make a pilgrimage, as I did, to the poet’s mid-Ulster Home Ground around Mossbawn, Castledawson and Bellaghy. I know and can highly recommend a local man whose scholarship, anecdotes and readings weave the magic that breathes life into words on the page. He is Eugene Kielt of Laurel Villa Guesthouse & Tours Magherafelt (www.laurel-villa.com ) and you can contact him at info@laurel-villa.com

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