Entertainment & Arts

Seamus Heaney praised by UK poets at tribute

Seamus Heaney
Image caption Heaney won a Nobel prize in 1995

Irish poet Seamus Heaney, who died in August aged 74, would have been "embarrassed" by tributes said friends and contemporaries at an event on London's South Bank.

But, added the host and writer Andrew O'Hagan, he would have been "secretly pleased".

Poets Carol Ann Duffy, Simon Armitage and Paul Muldoon all took to the stage to read some of his much-loved work.

The evening opened with a recording of Heaney reading his famous poem Digging.

The audience also heard Death of a Naturalist, Mid-Term Break and Blackberry-Picking, with Irish band The Chieftains playing between poems,

Writer Edna O'Brien, famous for The Country Girls trilogy, said Heaney would have been "thrilled" with the event.

BBC World At One host Martha Kearney, who was in attendance, called it "a truly moving and magical evening".

Mark Durkan, the MP for Foyle in Derry - Heaney's home county, said the evening was "so evocative" and represented his "work, style and character" perfectly.

"You just felt the charm of the man," he added.

Heaney was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995 "for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past".

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