For the fortieth anniversary of its publication, in May 2006, Faber are reissuing Seamus Heaney’s classic first collection, Death of a Naturalist, which on its appearance in 1966 won the Cholmondeley Award, the E.C. Gregory Award, the Somerset Maugham Award and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize.
‘His words give us the soil-reek of Ireland, the colourful violence of his childhood on a farm in Derry. The full-blooded energy of these poems makes Death of a Naturalist the best first book of poems I’ve read for some time.’ – C.B. Cox in the Spectator
‘The power and precision of his best poems are a delight, and as a first collection Death of a Naturalist is outstanding […] His subject is those things which are inherent or inherited. What he praises is to be praised in his own work.’ – Christopher Ricks, New Statesman
‘Now, to pry into roots, to finger slime,
To stare big-eyed Narcissus, into some spring
Is beneath all adult dignity. I rhyme
To see myself, to set the darkness echoing.’