Study Guide

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The Sweet Sounds of Seamus (Heaney)

There is no other poet alive today more skilled at using the sound and music of the English language. Okay, okay, so that's just our opinion, but we can back it up with all kinds of evidence (see "Sound Check"), and we're not the only ones who think so. Heaney himself says that he strives to write with "a musically satisfying order of sounds" (source), and we just have to agree. While rhyming is about as common in poetry as the flu in winter, Heaney's poetry takes sound to a new level with subtlety and grace. It's some sort of perfect hybrid between familiar human speech and actual music. Can we get an encore?

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