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Nobel poet full of praise for Eminem

London, July 1: Seamus Heaney, one of the leading figures in modern poetry, praised the lyrical talents of the rapper Eminem yesterday.

Heaney, 64, a Nobel prize-winner for literature, said the American singer, whose references to guns, gangrape and homosexuality have attracted fierce criticism, “sent a voltage round a generation”.

The former professor of poetry at Oxford University was speaking in Norwich before the start of the Prince of Wales’ Educational Summer School.

The Northern Irish poet, a guest of the school, was asked by journalists whether there was a figure in popular culture who aroused interest in poetry and lyrics in the way that Bob Dylan and John Lennon did during the 1960s and 1970s.

The Nobel Laureate said: “There is this guy Eminem. He has created a sense of what is possible. He has sent a voltage around a generation. He has done this not just through his subversive attitude but also his verbal energy.”

Eminem, whose real name is Marshal Mathers III, grew up in a caravan park in Detroit.

His difficult upbringing was the inspiration for his current film, 8 Mile.

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