Seamus Heaney's sonnet gets the public vote in 'A Poem For Ireland'.
Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney's sonnet 'When All the Others Were Away at Mass' has been chosen by the public as Ireland's best-loved poem of the past 100 years in RTÉ's A Poem for Ireland.
The announcement was made by President Michael D Higgins during the filming of a special episode of 'The Works' at the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin. The programme will air this Friday, March 13, at 8:30pm on RTÉ One.
Heaney's poem was chosen from a shortlist of 10 poems by Irish poets which also included:
- 'Quarantine' by Eavan Boland
- 'Fill Arís' by Seán Ó Ríordáin
- 'Easter 1916' by W.B. Yeats
- 'Dublin' by Louis MacNeice
- 'A Christmas Childhood' by Patrick Kavanagh
- 'The Statue of the Virgin at Granard Speaks' by Paula Meehan
- 'A Disused Shed in Co. Wexford' by Derek Mahon
- 'Making Love Outside Áras an Uachtaráin' by Paul Durcan
- 'Filleadh ar an gCathair' by Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh
Top: Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh, Seamus Heaney, Seán Ó Ríordáin, Patrick Kavanagh, Paula Meehan - Bottom: Derek Mahon, Louis MacNeice, Eavan Boland, Paul Durkan, WB Yeats
The shortlist was compiled by an independent jury.
Heaney's sonnet is taken from 'Clearances iii', about his mother Mary. The poet recalls a moment of stillness at home as he peeled potatoes on a Sunday morning with his mother at home on the family farm Mossbawn in Co. Derry. He talks about her in this extract from 'Out of the Marvellous' and reads from the poem.
'Out of the Marvellous' is a documentary about Seamus Heaney made by Icebox Films. It was broadcast on 14 April 2009 as part of the poet's 70th birthday celebrations.
For more details on A Poem For Ireland, visit apoemforireland.rte.ie