letters | seamus heaney, 1939-2013: readers find the words

Hearing the poems in his gentle brogue

Seamus Heaney was the most human of poets (“A life of engagement and wondrous words,” Kevin Cullen, Page A1, Aug. 31). Irresistibly funny, earthy, profound, and profane, he touched every sort of person — police officer, farmer, poet, and spy. Anyone lucky enough to be a friend simply wanted to hang out with him and his wife, Marie, drink with them, and listen to them talk.

His poems on paper are lyrical and touch our most basic sorrows and joys, but spoken aloud by him in his gentle brogue, they transported you like a whirlpool to his special moment and place, in Ireland or any land.


Boston was a second home for him, and for us he was family. His passing leaves us with what he wrote for his own children — the “strumming, rooted, long-tailed pull of grief.”

Sean and Judy Palfrey


The writers are masters of Adams House at Harvard.

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