The Touch of the Poet

Author: Rebecca Corrente

As a columnist for Irish America Magazine, Bob Schmuhl fondly recollects an encounter with poet Seamus Heaney.  

By Robert Schmuhl, Contributor, Irish America Magazine
August / September 2016

Five years ago this summer, a dream came true – but not quite the way the daydreamer envisioned it might.

A decade earlier, I approached the poet and Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney, proposing a magazine profile of him and requesting an interview in Dublin.

An enthusiastic admirer of his work, I’d just published an assessment of his translation of Beowulf – “a cross-cultural tour de force” reflecting “artistic taxidermy” – and hoped the full-throated hurrah would strengthen the pitch for a meeting.

Not long after I dispatched my letter, an envelope arrived with a handwritten postcard (from New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art) tucked inside.

Find out what Heaney said here.