PRX Review: RN Documentary: Seamus Heaney: Bogging In Again

Producer: Radio Netherlands (29:30)

Review by John Biewen for PRX (February 10, 2007)

“You can’t go too far wrong with this material: Seamus Heaney’s closely-mic’d voice in conversation–a voice that takes hold of words with an unusually strong grip before letting them go. Seamus Heaney reading his own achingly beautiful, soul-disturbing poems in a reverberating hall in Rotterdam. Stir in atmospheric music and intelligent narration by the interviewer. I suppose you could go wrong with any material, but the folks at Radio Netherlands, as usual, get it right. 

This is not just any old piece about any old poet. Heaney’s talk and his poetry are not *about* poetry but about the world–the world of spit and dust and cast iron but also of falling Twin Towers and our “virtual city.” One of the most important poets of our time, an Irishman who came of age writing about the Troubles as “time out of joint” in his own small country, now reflects on a whole world out of joint. A world of “deep, deep, deep unease” where “war is waged almost casually.”

Listen to the program here

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