A dazzling short assessment of the life and work of the poet and winner of the 1995 Nobel Prize for literature, by one of the finest literary critics now writing. * In awarding the Nobel Prize for Literature to Seamus Heaney in 1995, the committee recognized a lifetime of beautiful and profound writing, beloved by readers around the world. * Among Heaney's many published collections are Death of a Naturalist, North, Field Work, Rattle Bag, Station Island and, most recently, the bestselling Spirit Level (May 1996). * Yet despite his popularity, Heaney's poetry can be difficult and intractable, not least because it is linked to two rich literary traditions, the English and the Irish. * The time is ripe for a clear, explicatory work that relates the poet to his work. Helen Vendler's beautifully written book will do precisely this.