A Tribute Reading of Seamus Heaney Poems
hosted by the Falmouth Public Library’s Poetry Book Discussion Group
Bay Room, Falmouth Public Library, 300 Main Street, Falmouth
On Friday, December 6, at 1 PM, the Poetry Book Discussion Group will host a reading-in-the-round of Seamus Heaney’s poems in the Bay Room, at the Falmouth Public Library. The community is invited to attend and share their own favorite Heaney poems or listen to group members read his poetry. Light refreshments will be served.
Seamus Heaney (1939-2013) won the 1995 Nobel Prize for Literature, “for works of lyrical and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past.” He died on August 30th. As Margalit Fox, of the The New York Times wrote, “At its best, Mr. Heaney’s work had both a meditative lyricism and an airy velocity. His lines could embody a dark, marshy melancholy, but as often as not they also communicated the wild onrushing joy of being alive.”
From 1986 - 2006, Heaney taught at Harvard University. Tom Sleigh is his essay, “Remembering Seamus Heaney” (www.poetryfoundation.org) describes his “self-mockery and roguish good humor, but also the colloquial eloquence and sense of kindred feeling that pervades Seamus’s conversation is such that you feel smarter, funnier, and more genuinely alive…” As part of Poets. org’s tribute to Seamus Heaney, Marilyn Nelson remembers, “As we left the room, Seamus took me aside and quietly told me that the problems with poetry workshops is that there’s always something the group can find to criticize, always some improvement they can suggest. He said I should ignore everything the students had said and suggested, and not change a single word.”
Alice Kociemba, facilitator of the Falmouth Public Library’s poetry book discussion group, heard Seamus Heaney discuss the importance of language and read his poem “Postscript” at AWP Convention (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) in Boston, this past March. “What is said of him rings true, there was the mark of greatness in him, his generosity, brilliance and humility.” She began Calliope’s season in September by reading “Postscript.” The poem begins, “And some time make the time…” With his passing, it is important to pause and reflect that, “words [are] bearers of history and mystery.” Well put, Mr. Heaney.
On Sunday, April 27, 2014, from 3 to 5 PM, the West Falmouth Library and Calliope will host a National Poetry Month "Favorite Poems" reading.