Irish poet and Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney has died at the age of 74.
In a somewhat poetic fashion, the circumstances and cause of Seamus Heaney’s death have taken a backseat to flowery remembrances of the Irish poet whose first works were published back in 1996.
Heaney cause of death has not yet been reported, but the poet was known to be in ill health after suffering a stroke back in 2006. Ten years prior, he translated the epic poem Beowulf, and a year before that, been awarded the Nobel prize for literature in 1995.
Faber & Faber confirmed Seamus Heaney’s death in a statement, saying simply:
“His impact on literary culture is immeasurable. As his publisher we could not have been prouder to publish his work over nearly 50 years. He was nothing short of an inspiration to the company, and his friendship over many years is a great loss.”
Reaction from notable Irish fans included Martin McGuinness, who tweeted about the death of Seamus Heaney, saying:
“Very shocked and deeply saddened to hear that Seamus Heaney, Derry man, poet and Nobel Laureate has died. My thoughts & prayers with Marie and family.”
McGuinness later tweeted:
— Martin McGuinness (@M_McGuinness_SF) August 30, 2013
Former President Bill Clinton also weighed in, saying:
“Once in a lifetime the longed for tidal wave of justice can rise up, and hope and history rhyme.” – Seamus Heaney pic.twitter.com/9GN1C3jp0K
— Bill Clinton (@billclinton) August 30, 2013
Actor Liam Neeson, who was born in Co. Antrim, commented:
“With Seamus Heaney’s passing, Ireland, and Northern Ireland especially, has lost a part of its artistic soul. He crafted, through his poetry, who we are as a species and the living soil that we toiled in. By doing so, he defined our place in the universe. May he rest in peace.”
While Seamus Heaney’s cause of death has not yet been reported, the Irish Times indicates Heaney died in Dublin after being admitted to a medical facility for a scheduled operation.