I was quite struck by the announcement of Seamus Heaney’s death this morning. In recent years, his poetry has inspired and connected to me many people and ideas. In tribute, here is an excerpt from my MAET Graduate Recognition speech from this past summer – inspired by Seamus.
The connections that we make manifest themselves in affection based on admiration, benevolence and common interests – love. The strong bonds that tie us together give us collectively the support we need to succeed because as you know great leaders never work alone. They have trusted circles, a brain trust if you will, of other individuals who also dedicate time to their professional growth. A trusted group of colleagues from different disciplines and mindsets who push each other to greatness just as you have done here. So, to end, I would like to read a poem by Seamus Heaney – the poem is called Scaffolding.
Masons, when they start upon a building,
Are careful to test out the scaffolding;
Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points,
Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints.
And yet all this comes down when the job’s done
Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.
So if, my dear, there sometimes seems to be
Old bridges breaking between you and me
Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall
Confident that we have built our wall.