Death of Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney has died, and it’s a shock to realise how young he was. He seems to have always possessed this gravitas and total respect, so that it’s a shock to realise he was only 74. (Only 74. When I was younger I’d have said that was ancient. Now I’m 68, it feels…well, middle aged.) I’m almost heartened by reports of his wife occasionally reproaching him because he neglected his kids for his writing – without that, he’d almost seem too good to be true. Though I am, of course, deeply grateful for Stepping Stones, a massive series of revealing interviews, and poems as good as Punishment.