It’s fair to say that Heaney stood apart from many of the innovations of modern poetry, but he was a master of breath, and of the poised line-ending. His poems are always clean and efficient, but with sounds that leap off the page: his was a poetry of speaking, of a gently turned vernacular. They are, to me, deeply religious too; fascinated by things that fade, by the possibility of a world beyond the visible.
My celebration of Seamus Heaney was published in The Guardian on the day of his death. North (1975) has always been one of my favourite poetry collections of the twentieth century.