I’m not much for poetry. I enjoy it in small bursts, but you won’t find me pouring over books of sonnets for hours on end. When it came time to choose readings for our wedding, I came across Seamus Heaney’s Scaffolding and it instantly struck more than one chord with me. It’s about building, and my years of studying architecture and architectural history have left me with a deep love of all things building. The sentiment also paints a very good picture of how my husband and I have always approached our relationship-change is inevitable, but if built right, relationships will stand forever if the base on which they’re built is strong.
Today, I am saddened to learn that Seamus Heaney has passed on, at the age of 74. Heaney’s poems always tug at that part of me that relates to my family’s past. My great-grandparents were Irish immigrants, and though I don’t remember them (if I remember correctly, they both passed on in the first three years of my life,) my childhood was full of stories of my quirky Irish Grandpa, a man who would eat butter by the stick, cut into thin slices like potato chips. Heaney’s work is full of tales of the every day life in Ireland, through which I felt like I was catching small glimpses of the life my family had before they crossed the Atlantic Ocean, and I’m sad to know the voice behind them is now quiet.
Rest well, Seamus Heaney. Rest well.