Signed by Seamus Heaney

  • Seamus Heaney Autographed Letter Signed.

Seamus Heaney Autographed Letter Signed.

Item Number: 4163

1984.

The letter reads: “Dear Mary, Your note of sympathy is very much appreciated. And I also received a wreath of flowers from the English Department, which touched me very much. My mother died peacefully, after a somewhat unexpected stroke. It was the first death I had been present at, but it was not at all fearsome – there was a fullness about her life and a gentleness about her departure from it. Maybe I’ll see you next week, when I’ll be hastily enroute through Cambridge. Affectionately, Seamus.” With his address in the right hand corner and dated November 4, 1984. Also included is the envelope addressed to the recipient at Harvard University. Matted and framed.

Like his mother, Heaney also suffered a stroke and passed away around the same age. It appears he learned a great deal at his mother’s passing in dealing with his own death, as it was said that his last words were in a text to his wife, "Noli timere": "Do not be afraid" in latin. After her death, he wrote a good deal exploring the theme of loss, in particular a sonnet sequence that can be found in his collection, Haw Lantern, published in 1987. She "Taught me between the hammer and the block To face the music. Teach me now to listen, To strike it rich behind the linear black."