Readersforum's Blog

September 6, 2013

Seamus Heaney (RIP) Reads “Death of a Naturalist” and His Nobel Lecture on the Power of Poetry

deathofanaturalistby Maria Popova


How poetry works to “persuade that vulnerable part of our consciousness” and remind us that we are “hunters and gatherers of values.”


How heartbreaking to learn that beloved Irish poet, playwright, and translator Seamus Heaney (April 13, 1939–August 30, 2013) has died. The recipient of innumerable awards, including the 1995 Nobel Prize for Literature, he has been noted as the best-read living poet in the world in the past few decades.

To celebrate his legacy, here is Heaney’s exquisite reading of the title poem from his 1966 anthology Death of a Naturalist (public library), followed by his timeless wisdom on poetry, politics, and culture from his Nobel acceptance speech.


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