Visitors to Seamus Heaney HomePlace in Bellaghy from almost 20 countries, including the UK, Ireland, the USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, France, Spain, Italy, Denmark, China and Japan have voted ‘Mid Term Break’ from Death of a Naturalist (1969) as their favourite Seamus Heaney poem.
Seamus Heaney HomePlace, which celebrates the life and literature of the Nobel Laureate, is owned and operated by Mid Ulster District Council and marked its first anniversary at the end of September 2017, has welcomed over 40,000 visitors from over 20 countries to view the permanent exhibition within HomePlace and experience events in the venue’s performance space, The Helicon.
As part of the exhibition within HomePlace, visitors had the opportunity to vote from the 34 poems from Death of a Naturalist including ‘Digging’, (which came a close second); ‘Blackberry Picking’ (third); ‘Scaffolding’; ‘Personal Helicon’; ‘The Follower’; and ‘Mid Term Break’, the subject of which is the death of Seamus Heaney’s younger brother, Christopher who was killed in a car accident at the age of four.
Brian McCormick, Manager of HomePlace, said, “It’s no surprise that the much loved Mid Term Break’ has been chosen by visitors to our exhibition. It’s a tremendously poignant poem and its emotional power is immense. The subject of loss and grief so elegantly dealt with by Seamus Heaney resonates with many people on an international scale due to its connection to something that is essential to being human.”
Described by Michael Longley as “an echo chamber for the poet’s beautiful lines”, Seamus Heaney HomePlace features a fully interactive exhibition over two floors, filled with personal stories, images and the voice of the poet himself. To find out more about HomePlace, visit www.seamusheaney.com