Seamus Heaney was a great poet and friend, says Andrew O’Hagan, as he relives their travels in Scotland, Ireland and Wales – tucking into chowder and contemplating the afterlifeHe was simply a source of grace, a blessing, and you always knew he was on your side. I was lucky to know those qualities and see them captured in a single name – Seamus. What is it about some people that they seem to carry a kind of moral gladness with them?Not that they are always good or always right, but that they hold out the possibility of a better selfhood for everybody. In the few days since he died, I’ve been feeling sore in the heart, because a light has gone out, a reliable comfort. More than that: a genius with a sublime human touch is now beyond reach. I recall the story of the little boy who watched as Robert Burns’s funeral cortege passed through the town of Dumfries. “But who will be our poet now?” he said to his mother.Two decades ago, when I worked at the London Review of Books, the editor, Karl Miller, would ask me to get people on the phone. Late one afternoon, when …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books