Seamus Heaney Biography | Author of A Drink of Water

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Heaney is generally regarded as one of Ireland's preeminent poets of the late twentieth century. His verse frequently centers on the role poets play in society, with poems addressing issues of politics and culture, as well as inner-directed themes of self-discovery  and spiritual growth.

These topics are unified by Heaney's Irish sensibilities and his interest in preserving his country's history. Using language that ranges from, and often mixes, sexual metaphor and natural imagery, Heaney examines Irish life as it relates to the past and, also, as it ties into the larger context of human existence. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1995 for, as theSwedish Academy noted in its press release, "works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past."

Heaney was born in 1939 in Mossbawn, County Deny, Ireland. The eldest of nine children, he was raised as a...

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This section contains 459 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Drink of Water Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
A Drink of Water from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.