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This report is taken from PN Review 215, Volume 40 Number 3, January - February 2014.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams
I met Seamus Heaney (twice, I think) in Cardiff in the 1970s, at a time when it was not unusual for Irish poets to give readings here under the auspices of the Welsh Arts Council, and I spoke with him again in the 1990s at a university ceremony, also in Cardiff, where he was about to receive yet another honorary degree. He had already an assured place among the literary elite at our earlier encounters and by the 1990s was famous indeed, but for all that I felt at once comfortable in his company. He had that gift among many others of making strangers at ease, or better still, no matter where you were, at home with him. The unexpected news of his death brought an acute sense of loss, for, though the time I spent in his company could barely have been counted in hours, it seemed I knew him well. It is the poetry of course that made him, makes him still, the close companion of many years.
 
I felt even more keenly another death, which occurred on 29 August, the day before Heaney's, that of Cliff Morgan. Readers of this magazine may not be familiar with the name, but he too was widely loved, not least because, like Heaney, he had the ability to be comfortably at ease with friends and strangers and, though the accent was different, a memorably pleasant voice and manner, the kind that engages people. He was an excellent radio presenter and interviewer. But that came later.

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