Welcome back to Douglas Murray’s Sunday column, Things Worth Remembering, where he presents passages from great poets he has committed to memory—and explains why you should, too. To listen to Douglas read from Seamus Heaney’s “Audenesque,” click below:
In public and private, Seamus Heaney could—like his friend and fellow Irishman Paul Muldoon—spend an hour pulling out all the meanings, nuances, resonances, and more in a single stanza, even a single line, of poetry.
It was a remarkable thing to watch. He had a mind like a cathedral. If you sounded a single note in it, he would return with a symphony, echoing every tone as the note traveled around the building.
When I was a student at Oxford, he came back to the university, where he had been professor of poetry, to do a reading, and we had some time alone together.