The death has been announced of poet Derek Mahon, who passed away in Cork on Thursday night at the age of 78, after a short illness.
One of the most significant Irish poets of his generation, over his celebrated career Belfast-born Mahon had drawn comparison to such masters as Samuel Beckett and WH Auden, his work infused with recurrent themes of alienation, isolation and solitude.
Earlier this year, his celebrated poem Everything is going to be alright found a new resonance, as Ireland went under lockdown during the Covid-19 crisis.
We need your consent to load this Facebook contentWe use Facebook to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences
A prolific and popular poet, collections include The Snow Party (1975), The Hunt By Night (1982) The Hudson Letter (1995) and its follow-up The Yellow Book (1997), as well as a trio of Irish Times Poetry Now Award-winners Harbour Lights (2005), Life on Earth (2008) and Against the Clock (2018).
His latest collection Washing Up, is due for publication on 29 October 2020.
We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences
President Michael D Higgins paid tribute to "a great poet" whose body of work, he said, delivered a "wit and freshness that was both perceptive and provocative in equal measure".
He added: "The loss of Derek Mahon, yet another artist gone from us in recent times, is like the falling of oak trees. We are left with hope from the fruit of the acorns in which the writing and its encouragement represents as legacy.
"To his partner, family and many friends, Sabina and I send our deepest sympathy."
We announce with deepest sorrow the death of Derek Mahon, master poet, pure artist. To his partner Sarah Iremonger and his children Rory, Katy and Maisie we send heartfelt condolences. We will miss him forever as a friend and beloved author. Peace to Derek's beautiful mind. pic.twitter.com/vuqc8fWEGR— The Gallery Press (@TheGalleryPress) October 2, 2020
Mahon's passing was announced by his publishing house, Gallery Press.
Chair of Poetry Ireland, Ciarán Benson, said, "In the loss of Derek Mahon, Ireland, and the world of poetry, has lost an outstanding voice, one that ranged over the wide territories of contemporary life, both personal and natural. He effortlessly framed and clarified centrally important ideas and longings and gifted them back to us in a beautiful and rich body of work. His influence will continue to grow."
"Act with zest one day at a time" - words to live by. RIP Derek Mahon pic.twitter.com/fq2ko2aI21— Dr Aileen Dillane (@aileen_dillane) October 2, 2020