Seamus Heaney on Human Chain

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“Now the oil-fired heating boiler comes to life / Abruptly, drowsily, like the timed collapse / Of a sawn-down tree, I imagine them.” In this 2011 PBS NewsHour video, the late Seamus Heaney reads from and speaks about his final collection, Human Chain (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010). The Nobel Prize–winning poet died at the age of seventy-four on August 30, 2013.

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Tracy K. Smith

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“In my own writing, I feel safest when I’m farthest from what I know.” Tracy K. Smith reads “Digging” by Seamus Heney, the poem she feels “invited her to start writing poetry,” and from “My God, It’s Full of Stars,” a poem she wrote about her father. This video, part of the P.O.P. series, was shot and edited by Rachel Eliza Griffiths in partnership with the Academy of American Poets.

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