You Are Neither Here Nor There: Seamus Heaney

Today the poetry world is saddened by the loss of Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney. Some of his most famous works include Death of a Naturalist, North, and a translation of Beowulf.

I had the opportunity to see Seamus Heaney read when I was in college, during the Virginia Festival of the Book. He was an excellent reader (which isn’t always the case for even talented and accomplished poets) and really engaged the audience. At the time, I was also taking poetry classes (both literature and writing) and had read several of Heaney’s poems. They’re expansive but intimate, and the language is clear but has really awesome turns of phrase throughout. One of my all-time favorite poems is his “Postscript,” particularly the last lines:

You are neither here nor there,
A hurry through which known and strange things pass
As big soft buffetings come at the car sideways
And catch the heart off guard and blow it open.

Make sure to read the whole poem, and to check out Heaney’s other work if you’re not familiar with it already.