Seamus Heaney Valedictory Verses

Poem written to mark the closing of Carysfort College in Blackrock

Séamus Heaney wrote this poem to mark “a significant moment in the history of Dublin” – the closure of Carysfort College in Blackrock. The Nobel-prize winning poet taught at the teacher-training college between 1975 and 1981, before he took up a position at Harvard.

Carysfort was founded in 1877 as a college for Catholic girls who wished to become teachers. Other lecturers at the college included Éamon de Valera and Eoin MacNeill, co-founder of the Gaelic League and founder of the Irish Volunteers. The poem was written, as Heaney notes, “to mark the end of an era.”

With thanks to Seamus Heaney