Seamus Heaney and Latin
Seamus Heaney has just won the T. S. Eliot Prize for District and Circle.
Heaney is one of many modern poets engaging marvellously with classical literature. He appeared in my last post being translated into Greek Elegiac couplets by Cambridge undergraduates (I hope he would be pleased if he knew!). Let me here single out one poem in the prize-winning collection, with a particularly classical turn.
“Anything can happen” reworks Horace Odes 1, 34 (Parcus deorum . . . ) in response to the events of 9/11. In the original, Horace appears to claim a religious change of heart after experiencing the thunderbolt of Jupiter coming from the sky. And there has been a good deal of discussion, since the collection was published, about how successful the poem and the analogy is (including a pretty ambivalent reaction in the TLS).
It’s well worth having a look at, and not just by fans of Horace..