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While visiting a clinic in Ghana earlier today, Bono heard the news of the death of Seamus Heaney, Nobel Laureate and widely regarded as one of the greatest Irish poets of all time.

'Seamus was a great, great poet. I know people throw around this phrase a lot, but his poem From the Republic of Conscience, literally changed my life. As an activist he was the quietest storm that ever blew into town. In fact, in so many things he was a gentle genius, whose words challenged us with the grit and beauty of life as much as they gave us solace. He wrote with a brevity that strangely spilled to the brim.

'We all envied how he made that most complicated of things, the balancing of work and family, appear so simple. In Marie he found his other whole. And it is a joy to be around his kids... Michael, Chris and Catherine Ann. They have all of his humility in their sharpness.

'I take his poems with me wherever I go. I was in Liberia just a few days ago and I gave his collection 'Electric Light' to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, whose entire country is in darkness. She knew exactly who he was and immediately started reading the poems while standing beside me. A few days after that I gave another collection 'Seeing Things' to President John Mahama of Ghana, whose vision of his country is everything...

'I am bewildered to think Seamus is no longer with us. Because his words will be around forever, it seemed so would he.'

COMMENTS

9
bragi
13 September, 2013
question
what's the building in the back of your glasses?
bragi
13 September, 2013
question?
Which is his favorite poem?
SagePearl
05 September, 2013
@--->----, @--->----, @--->----
Even in death, he is still worth getting to know.
PauloSilva
04 September, 2013
bono are perfect,,adam clayton happy bir
u2 we love you ever,,bono you are the perfect man in worll..but the day its for Clayton adam,,married today..u2 we love you ever,,rejoice from Portugal..paul
Manic Morag
02 September, 2013
Death of a great man, great poet
I was introduced to the work of Seamus Heaney by my Belfast-born English teacher just over 20 years ago. As a teenager reading 'Death of a Naturalist' and 'Digging', I was struck by his evocative words - they were, and shall forever remain, astonishing.
tan_lejos_tan_cerca
01 September, 2013
Great loss
Sad news, specially because he has been such a great influence and so close to him. I had read "Death Of A Naturalist" because Bono gave the book to somebody, now I have more poems to read... :) It is remarkable that so many great poets and writers have come from Ireland... Yes, somebody to blow you away with his words
U2Gal
30 August, 2013
Sad But Sweet
It seems so sad to believe that someone with such beautiful words past away! From Bono giving them to the presidents it seems like those places will be much more beautiful! Thank you Bono and Seamus Heaney.
ultraviolet69
30 August, 2013
Perfect words
Beautifully said Bono.
alibono
30 August, 2013
beautiful words...
Bono's words are so touching. It's wonderful how he talks about Seamus Heaney.
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