The passing of Seamus Heaney has been felt all over the world, and celebrities far and wide have put their condolences on the record.
British pop star and Taylor Swift collaborator Ed Sheeran, who often speaks of his deep Irish roots, was one of the first to comment about the poet’s death.
“Such sad news about Seamus Heaney. Rest in peace x,” the 22-year-old tweeted to his more than seven million followers on Friday afternoon, not long after Heaney’s death. Later, Sheeran also re-tweeted a post from Gary Lightbody, the lead singer of Northern Irish band Snow Patrol who wrote a lovely blog about the influence Heaney had on him during his teen years.
Harry Potter star Emma Watson also expressed her sadness over the Nobel laureate’s passing. "Seamus Heaney died today : (,” she tweeted to her nearly 10 million followers. No doubt Watson, 23, is well familiar with Heaney’s work as she studied literature at Brown University.
Bono was friends with Heaney for many years, and took great inspiration from his wise words. He penned a short, powerful piece that was published in The Guardian newspaper that really needs no further comment:
“Every meeting I've ever had since I began full-time advocacy, I have brought with me a book of Seamus Heaney’s poems. I always think if you're asking somebody for something it's a good idea to give them something first. So I always gave them Seamus Heaney's poems. This is from the pope to every president I have ever met. In this past week I gave Seamus's book Electric Light to President Johnson Sirleaf in Liberia. She's currently obsessed with the efforts to bring electricity to her people so she could not believe it.
“Seamus has been with me on every journey I have taken, and there have been many times when a retreat into his words has kept me afloat. Most of our life in this kind of work is very concrete, full of facts, but we all have to seek redress from time to time in poetry. Seamus was where I went for that. He was the quietest storm that ever blew into town. As an activist, From the Republic of Conscience has been like a bible for me, something I return to and have returned to for as long as I can remember. Some of those phrases are like tattoos for me, worn very close to the heart.”
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