Hope and History: The Poems and Plays of Seamus Heaney

In his speeches and online presidential campaign, Joe Biden made repeated use of Seamus Heaney’s lines about making “hope and history rhyme.” Seamus Heaney, who died in August 2013, was rare among contemporary poets in having both a huge public following and the admiration of his peers: both a Wordsworthian romantic and a Joycean realist; an atheist in search of the miraculous; a cosmopolitan with a little patch of remembered earth; a lover of the archaic who could not escape the urgency of contemporary history. This course follows Heaney’s rich career, placing him in the context both of modern Ireland and world literature.




Tuesdays, 1:30-4:20 PM


Fintan O'Toole