Seamus Heaney passed away today, 'widely recognized as one of the major poets of the 20th century,' according to the Poetry Foundation, and I am embarrassingly ignorant of his work.
Why do we need poets to be dead to appreciate their oeuvre? Why is his death so newsworthy, rather than one of his poems, say, 'Stone from Delphi':
... I make a morning offering again:Can you imagine if on nbcnews.com, instead of 'Seamus Heaney dies,' the headline could have been, 'New poem from Seamus Heaney'?
that I may escape the miasma of spilled blood,governthe tongue, fear hybris, fear the goduntil he speaks in my untrammelled mouth.
In my feeble defense, as soon as I became aware of the too-soon demise of Mr. Heaney, I opened my Amazon app and bought 'Opened Ground: Selected Poems 1966-1996,' and began my education. Again.