Thursday, 24 January 2013

Seamus Heaney on an off day perhaps.

One of the magazines I look forward to is Intelligent Life produced bimonthly by the Economist magazine.

It is available free on the iPad and iPhone -  temporarily through sponsorship of Credit Suisse Bank.

Cover for Jan/Feb 2013

The archives are also available at the moment so I would read up before they start charging... Thanks Credit Suisse.

Anyway, I made myself a Pukka three fennel tea that tastes so delicious and suits the falling snow.

I shall spare you a picture of me in a dressing gown.

I was ready to be blown away by Seamus on his views about the seven wonders of the world.

Seamus Heaney - the poet. THE Poet -the Nobel Prize winning kind of writer.

Plus, he's Irish - naturally lyrical.

Even my slightly illiterate Irish builder makes a trip down to the pub one of the most interesting episodes ever.  Seamus could make a cup of tea sound a life changing moment.  I was licking my literary lips and shaking my head in anticipation thinking, Oh boy, this is gonna be gooooood.

I copied this excerpt so you could read some of his words without me having to explain what he said.

I thought he's just getting going.  This is personal stuff. But "aura of original wonder", yeah ok.  Also, what do I know, I have never been to Northern Ireland.

Golden Gate Bridge - not one of my seven wonders.  So I just thought I couldn't relate.  But he did use the word "epiphany" so he gets a few points.

Bologna - I liked that city- good food, actually great food. But I was 18 and I was always hungry.  He didn't mention the cuisine.  Fine, not everyone is a glutton but this was not, hmm, what's the word?  Poetic. Yeah, not very poetic.  But he does have a point - "oppression of cultural duty".  Yeah, I have felt oppressed. I know you have too.  Last time, you were on holiday, didn't you just feel like sitting in the local cafe watching locals walk by but no you had to see something damn it.  He feels our pain. 
( I am desperately trying to defend him.) 

In the Peloponnese, he just teased me with "driving over falling apples", "omens", and "benediction".  But then ruined it by being in a rush to get somewhere in a helicopter.

I just finished reading his view on the Pantheon.  The one in Rome, not some pub, not some restaurant in Las Vegas but the original.  Now, don't get me wrong. This is partly my fault.  I got sucked in by "brand names".

I sometimes tsk tsk commercial consumerism. Yet I see a famous established name and "seven wonders" and I am all over that like a doped up, literary junkie with no thought and willing to give over my money and time to this great poet and all I got for the Pantheon was "monumental"? 

It is a bloody monument Seamus!

"But also beautiful".  Are you kidding me?

The Pantheon is the combined embodiment of art, architecture, engineering, construction, trade, architecture, religion, and history.  

All I get is "beautiful"?


My peoples.

I swear, if it wasn't for the double episodes of  Borgen I watched after I read this, I would not have recovered my hope in the arts.  For those who aren't watching - please, please, please ( to the infinity) watch this show.  It has got everything: drama, intrigue, personal relationships, big plots, subplots, three dimensional characters.   I am not Seamus Heaney but I will copy him in aesthetic style and say that Borgen is very good.

Am I being too hard on ol' Seamus? 


  1. Ha ha - your words of passion here made me chuckle. Hhhmm, just goes to show how we are all individual and interpret things differently. So, in answer to your question, not harsh, just an alternative point of view.

  2. You really made me laugh with the White Russian quip, The Dude drinks it , so it gets a thumbs up from me.

    I love Intelligent LIfe, I'm keeping it for my Saturday morning breakfast in bed read.

    Going back to read the bit about ol Seamus now.

  3. So funny, most writers I know are word dead at night, I think he saves up his good bits for his own work.

  4. Great post. Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for stopping by my blog.

  5. Thanks for this recommendation, will look it up! Have the best weekend! xo Caroline

  6. Hi all - thanks for your input.

    @Bourbon - i think you are right but also I think his agent told him he had to do this!


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