Famous Seamus

(Image from Wikipedia.)

Today is Seamus Heaney’s 70th birthday. As Ireland slides into economic meltdown, governed by a clique of incompetent, corrupt and venal politicians, this is a rare opportunity to celebrate. RTE, the national broadcaster, has done something imaginative: in collaboration with the Lannan Foundation they have produced a landmark 15-CD box set of the poet reading his own Collected Poems. And from 9am this morning RTE is broadcasting this entire collection. You can listen on the Web. If you have time, his 1995 Nobel Lecture — “Crediting Poetry” — is a great read — as a reminder that we are all, ultimately, “hunters and gatherers of values”. Or you can listen to him giving the lecture here.