kathleenannhegarty

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This Is Not Bad. This Is Not Good. This Is Change.

The last time I built an Ikea bookshelf, I was seven months pregnant with K, my almost 8-year-old. Today, I taught him how to place the screw inside the predrilled hole, how to set the drill's Phillips-head bit into the screw's crosshatches and how to pull the orange trigger.<p>*<p>The last time I …

Bono on Seamus Heaney: 'His words have kept me afloat'

Every meeting I've ever had since I began full-time advocacy, I have brought with me a book of Seamus Heaney's poems. I always think if you're asking somebody for something it's a good idea to give them something first. So I always gave them Seamus Heaney's poems. This is from the pope to every …

Seamus Heaney: A life of rhyme

Seamus Heaney is taking a taxi from his home in Sandymount, which overlooks the bright grey waters of Dublin Bay, to the centre of town. Our driver is silent, but bursting with respect. When the poet compliments him on the ingenuity of his route through the lunchtime traffic, the cabbie exclaims, …

My hero: Dennis O'Driscoll by Seamus Heaney

Early on he wrote to Enid Blyton and WH Auden and received replies from both. In later years he conducted correspondences with George Mackay Brown, Michael Hamburger and Les Murray, although he was equally in touch with poetry and poets in eastern Europe and the United States. Dennis O'Driscoll, …

The triumph of spirit

As a child, William Wordsworth imagined he heard the moorlands breathing down his neck; he rowed in panic when he thought a cliff was pursuing him across moonlit water; and once, when he found himself on the hills east of Penrith Beacon, beside a gibbet where a murderer had been executed, the place …

Literature

Writers' rooms: Seamus Heaney

This is a corner of the attic room of our house in Dublin. In the down-slope of the ceiling on the other side there's a second skylight, much wider and longer and lower than the one in the picture, and through it I have a high clear view of Dublin Bay and Howth Head and the Dublin port shipping …

Bags of enlightenment

When my wife and I lived in Belfast in the late 1960s, our neighbours were an elderly couple called Wilson. In those days we had two toddlers in the house and they used to spend as much time with the Wilsons as they did at home. And one of the things Mrs Wilson used to repeat to the elder of them …

Literature

Seamus Heaney: my travels with the great poet

He was simply a source of grace, a blessing, and you always knew he was on your side. I was lucky to know those qualities and see them captured in a single name – Seamus. What is it about some people that they seem to carry a kind of moral gladness with them?<p>Not that they are always good or always …