I was lucky enough to know Seamus Heaney; to interview him and even spend time with him and his wife, Marie.

Although he was born in the north, he lived most of his literary days in Dublin. But the Troubles in the north were never far from his heart.

30 heaney2 g w Seamus Heaney: a great poet, full of light and life

He was probably one of the greatest poets of the late 20th/early 21st century.

When you met him, he was an extension of the poetry that you had read. A wonderful man, white-tousle-haired head, full of light and life, who always greeted you as a long-lost friend.

It’s wonderful that he’d lived long enough to see peace in Ireland and yet, of course, to see the Celtic tiger incinerate itself.

He always kept up to date with everything that was going on, far beyond the literature of which he was king.

He had no airs and many graces. He leaves a huge and vibrant legacy of work and a great hole in many of our lives.

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