Biografieën van schrijvers stellen meestal niet veel voor1. Een schrijver schrijft, meestal elke dag urenlang. Wat is daarover te vertellen? Dit boek is geen (auto)biografie, maar een reeks gesprekken van Dennis O’Driscoll met dichter Seamus Heaney. Gesprekken is trouwens veel gezegd. De interviews gebeurden voornamelijk schriftelijk, maar dat vermindert de kwaliteit hoegenaamd niet. Je komt […]
Widely regarded as the finest poet of his generation, Seamus Heaney is the subject of numerous critical studies; but no book-length portrait has appeared until now. Through his own lively and eloquent reminiscences, Stepping Stones retraces the poet’s steps from his early works, through to his receipt of the 1995 Nobel Prize for Literature and his post-Nobel life. It is supplemented with a large number of photographs, many from the Heaney family album and published here for the first time. In response to firm but subtle questioning from Dennis O’Driscoll, Seamus Heaney sheds a personal light on his work (poems, essays, translations, plays) and on the artistic and ethical challenges he faced, providing an original, diverting and absorbing store of reflections, opinions and recollections.
With this collection, first published in 1975, Heaney located a myth which allowed him to articulate a vision of Ireland — its people, history, and landscape — and which gave his poems direction, cohesion, and cumulative power. In North, the Irish experience is refracted through images drawn from different parts of the Northern European experience, and the idea of the north allows the poet to contemplate the violence on his home ground in relation to memories of the Scandinavian and English invasions which have marked Irish history so indelibly.
Sean O’Hagan in The Guardian:
Field Work spoke of a world I knew and had just left behind, physically if not emotionally or psychologically. I was initially taken by the thrust of The Toome Road, with its opening description of British soldiers in armoured cars “warbling along on powerful tyres, all camouflaged with broken alder branches”, and taken aback by the line “How long were they approaching down my roads/ As if they owned them?” This was poetry I could connect with on several levels, about strange things I had seen with my own eyes and was now seeing through his. One poem, After a Killing, brought back to me a summer’s evening when, while walking home from town with some friends, we suddenly came upon three young local men with guns waiting by an old railway bridge near the ring road in Armagh. Heaney describes a similar moment and summons up its ominous historical and contemporary resonances: “There they were, as if our memory hatched them,/ As if the unquiet founders walked again:/ Two young men with rifles on a hill,/ Profane and bracing as their instruments.”
Wij Vlamingen en Nederlanders vieren gedichtendag in januari, maar er bestaat ook een World Poetry Day, uitgeroepen door de Unesco en die valt op 21 maart. Van mij mag er elke week een gedichtendag zijn, zoals vrijdag visdag. Woensdag een gedicht als dessert. Ter gelegenheid van een gedichtendag pleeg ik een gedicht te vertalen, althans […]