Archive for March 31st, 2009

The best gifts don’t come wrapped

Icicle
Image by Redgum

A relative gave me a wonderful birthday present this week. She bought me a book of Seamus Heaney’s poetry. Inside was a personal inscription from the author who must have been told of my writing ambitions before signing it, because I never met him. I’d like to share it with you; I hope Mr. Heaney won’t mind.

For Brendan –

Keep your eye clear
As the bleb of the icicle –

and keep going –

Encouragement.

It can’t be bought, or sold, or wrapped, but is nonetheless a wonderful gift to give … and receive. Also, given recent posts about the changing form of the book, it is a reminder of the unique value of the printed book – it can be personalized.

Seamus also publicly celebrated his birthday this week. He will be 70 in a couple of weeks. I wish I could give him such a precious gift too, but all I have to offer in return is hope – hope that his encouragement will lead me to that place one day (when I am 70) where I too can present such potent encouragement to the hopeful young talent of the next generation.

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