• Boyd Letters


- 2 -

Those lines are from a poem called Funeral Rites
in Seamus Heaney's latest volume North. I quote them
because there is more sense, insight, and solace, in
poets than in public figures. Heaney's voice resonates
more than Paisley's and will continue to resonate when
that cleric is long forgotten. In the end, poetry -
memorable speech - endures. And we have many poets -
Heaney, Hewitt, McFadden, Montague, Kinsella, Deane,
Simmons, MongderLongley,FMaccFiacc, Muldoon, Mahon - and what they
are telling us has the unpalatability of bitter truth.

Again to quote

From the incubus of thy first coming
And the immaculate conception of death
We pray deliverance.
We are entombed with love
Phoenixed in righteousness
Spare us, 0 Lord
From the crucifixion by fire.

Those lines (only part of Ephiphany in Belfast) are by
Patrick Galvin, whom you met this summer. You remember
that wet afternoon? We talked for an hour or so in the
Lyric Theatre and looked across the Lagan, the river misted,
and you commented on the beautiful site the theatre possesses.

John Boyd
19 Jan
Linen Hall Library, "Boyd113", Northern Ireland Literary Archive, accessed Fri, 02/03/2023 - 11:02, https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/boyd113