DUBLIN – Ireland mourned the loss of its Nobel laureate poet, Seamus Heaney, with equal measures of poetry and pain Monday in a funeral full of grace notes and a final message from the great man himself: Don’t be afraid.
Among those packing the pews of Dublin’s Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart were government leaders from both parts of Ireland; poets, playwrights and novelists; all four members of the rock band U2; the actor Stephen Rea, and former Lebanese hostage Brian Keenan.
Ireland’s foremost uilleann piper, Liam O’Flynn, played a wailing lament before family members and friends offered a string of readings from the Bible and their own often-lyrical remembrances of the country’s most celebrated writer of the late 20th century.
Heaney won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1995 in recognition of his wide-ranging writings inspired by the rural wonders of Ireland, the strife of his native Northern Ireland, the ancient cultures of Europe, Catholic faith and Celtic mysticism, and the immutability of family ties. He died Friday in a Dublin hospital at the age of 74.
In a tribute delivered from the pulpit, one of Heaney’s three children revealed his final words: a text message from the poet’s hospital bed to his wife, Marie.
Michael Heaney said the words, “written a few minutes before he passed away, were in his beloved Latin. And they read: ‘Noli timere.’ Don’t be afraid.” That revelation opened a ripple of tears in the audience, including from Marie and only daughter Catherine.
‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ lead actors announced
NEW YORK – The big-screen adaptation of E. L. James’ “Fifty Shades of Grey” has cast its lead roles.
Charlie Hunnam will play the 27-year-old billionaire Christian Grey, and Dakota Johnson will play the college student he captivates, Anastasia Steele. Focus Features and Universal Pictures announced the castings Monday.
The 23-year-old Johnson is the daughter of actors Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith. She has had small roles in “The Social Network” and “21 Jump Street.” The 33-year-old Hunnam starred in “Pacific Rim.”
– From news service reports