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Seamus Heaney’s “Du Bellay in Rome”

From: New England Review
Volume 34, Number 2, 2013
p. 6 | 10.1353/ner.2013.0057

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Seamus Heaney’s translation of a sonnet by Joachim du Bellay (1522–1560), one of the last poems he wrote before he died this past August, is timely in several senses. Du Bellay’s witty engagement with paradoxes about permanence and immanence, fixity and flux, raises questions not only about those great themes but, coincidentally, about the nature of literary fame. Du Bellay is hardly a household name, yet his impact on Spenser and Shakespeare, to name but two renowned poets, is absolutely crucial. Seamus Heaney’s translation of du Bellay’s sonnet is all the more poignant, of course, given the fact that, shortly after completing it, he would himself become a victim of what Shakespeare terms “devouring time.” In the face of this terrible loss, we may take some comfort in our profound sense that, like the Tiber, Seamus Heaney’s work will continue to be a constant in our lives.

Paul Muldoon  

Paul Muldoon is Howard G. B. Clark ’21 Professor at Princeton University and Poetry Editor of the New Yorker . His most recent collections are Moy Sand and Gravel (2002), Horse Latitudes (2006), and Maggot (2010). His essays on Fernando Pessoa and Emily Dickinson have appeared in previous issues of NER .

Copyright © 2013 Middlebury College Publications
Project MUSE® - View Citation
Paul Muldoon. "Seamus Heaney’s “Du Bellay in Rome”." New England Review 34.2 (2013): 6-6. Project MUSE. Web. 14 Oct. 2013. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
Muldoon, P.(2013). Seamus Heaney’s “Du Bellay in Rome”. New England Review 34(2), 6. Middlebury College. Retrieved October 14, 2013, from Project MUSE database.
Paul Muldoon. "Seamus Heaney’s “Du Bellay in Rome”." New England Review 34, no. 2 (2013): 6-6. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed October 14, 2013).
T1 - Seamus Heaney’s “Du Bellay in Rome”
A1 - Paul Muldoon
JF - New England Review
VL - 34
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SP - 6
EP - 6
PY - 2013
PB - Middlebury College
SN - 2161-9131
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/new_england_review/v034/34.2.muldoon.html
N1 - Volume 34, Number 2, 2013
ER -


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