Seamus Heaney Funeral Held in Dublin

Funeral services were held for revered Irish poet Seamus Heaney in Dublin on Monday. Those in attendance in addition to Heaney’s family and friends included popular rock band U2, political leaders, as well as many writers. Friend and fellow poet, Paul Muldoon delivered the eulogy, which consisted of humorous anecdotes as well as serious moments concentrated on Heaney’s “beauty,” according to the Associated Press.

Reportedly, Heaney’s last written words were sent to his wife via text  message only minutes before his death. They read, “Noli timere” or “Don’t be afraid” in Latin. Heaney’s final resting place is in his family’s plot at Bellaghy’s cemetery.

Only one of Heaney’s original poems was read during the service. Irish publisher and poet Peter Fallon read “The Given Note.” Here is the poem in its entirety:

The Given Note

On the most westerly Blasket
In a dry-stone hut
He got this air out of the night.

Strange noises were heard
By others who followed, bits of a tune
Coming in on loud weather

Though nothing like melody.
He blamed their fingers and ear
As unpractised, their fiddling easy

For he had gone alone into the island
And brought back the whole thing.
The house throbbed like his full violin.

So whether he calls it spirit music
Or not, I don’t care. He took it
Out of wind off mid-Atlantic.

Still he maintains, from nowhere.
It comes off the bow gravely,
Rephrases itself into the air.

–Melinda Wilson