To say that Seamus Heaney’s posthumously published translation of Book VI of Virgil’s Aeneid is alive with intelligence and musicality is simply to state the obvious. What sets it apart is its status as testimony. It shows how even a poet of supreme inspiration is enriched by engaging perseveringly with great, ancient texts. And it honours the memory of one who enabled still untrained eyes to glimpse literature’s potential: Heaney intended the volume as a tribute to his classics master at school, Fr McGlinchey. Oh, to be a teacher able to inspire a life-long pursuit of meaning and beauty!

A Contribution to The Tablet‘s ‘Books of the Year’ pages.