Friday, September 6, 2013

Noli timere

Via NPR

The last words of Seamus Heaney, the Nobel laureate and Irish poet who died last week, came in a text message to his wife: "Noli timere," Latin for "Don't be afraid," the poet's son Michael said at his father's funeral. Heaney was buried in Northern Ireland's County Derry, where he grew up and where many of his most famous poems are set. Hundreds of mourners attended his funeral, including Irish President Michael D. Higgins, taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Enda Kenny, Sinn Fein members Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, and celebrities such as Bono. The Irish poet Paul Muldoon said in a eulogy delivered at the funeral and printed in The New Yorker, "It was Seamus Heaney's unparalleled capacity to sweep all of us up in his arms that we're honoring today. ... I'm thinking of his beauty. Today we mourn with Marie and the children, as well as the extended families, the nation, the wide world. We remember the beauty of Seamus Heaney — as a bard, and in his being."

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