On December 7, 1995, Irish playwright and poet Seamus Heaney accepted the Nobel Prize for Literature. The speech he gave that day in Sweden was later published under the title Crediting Poetry. Today, from that speech, a key passage anchors the headline and first paragraph of New York Times op-ed columnist Roger Cohen’s piece about the current Middle East turmoil:
For those interested in acquainting themselves with the genius of Heaney, who passed away last year, a great place to start is the iPad App Five Fables. As Slate staff writer Katy Waldman recently noted, it provided her with the most fun she’s had on an iPad in ages:
Heaney made five beautiful, homespun translations of poems by the 15th century Scot Robert Henryson. The poems and translations are collected on the App, along with fabulous color animations by the Irish studio Flickerpix. You can hear everything read aloud by actor Billy Connolly. Or you can hear everything read aloud in Scottish by Dr. Ian Johnson…
Experts discuss the poems’ language, rhyme scheme, morals and context, for those who are not sated by the line-by-line commentary. Mellifluous accents abound. Never before have I seen or heard an iPad do anything quite so charming.