How The Irish Times reviewed ‘an impressive young Ulster poet’ named Seamus Heaney in 1966

Michael Longley’s review of Death of a Naturalist was not entirely uncritical

A young Seamus Heaney

A young Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney’s first major volume of poetry, Death of a Naturalist, was published by Faber & Faber in 1966. On May 24th that year, his fellow poet Michael Longley reviewed the collection, which included what are now some of his best known poems, such as Digging and Mid-Term Break.

“This is the first volume of poems by an impressive young Ulster poet,” he writes. “Seamus Heaney’s subject matter derives mainly from his memories of his childhood on a farm in County Derry. A first reading reveals great density and richness which embody precise observations of the people and the landscape of that early experience.

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