Laureate lolly appeal

November 16, 2001

Queen's University, Belfast, has launched a £150 million fundraising campaign with a poem composed by Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney, a Queen's alumnus and staff member.

It has a recurring refrain of " pro tanto quid " - nothing to do with the funding target, but a reference to the city of Belfast's motto, pro tanto quid retribuamus - in return for so much, what shall we give back?

The poem begins: "His fresher's face, his fresh-stamped student card, The glue not set, the course not set: I stare.

Pro tanto quid? Yet what can he afford?" and ends:

"Now course is set and face set by the word.

What then? What's this? Honoris causa? Doctor?

Whose was that fresh face on your student card?

Pro tanto quid? O all you can afford."

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