Believe that a further shore is reachable from here.

— Seamus Heaney

The most sensitive Seamus Heaney quotes that are new and everybody is talking about

Anyone with gumption and a sharp mind will take the measure of two things: what's said and what's done.

67

History says, Don’t hope On this side of the grave, But then, once in a lifetime The longed-for tidal wave Of justice can rise up, And hope and history rhyme

59

When I first encountered the name of the city of Stockholm, I little thought that I would ever visit it, never mind end up being welcomed to it as a guest of the Swedish Academy and the Nobel Foundation.

58

But that citizen's perception was also at one with the truth in recognizing that the very brutality of the means by which the IRA were pursuing change was destructive of the trust upon which new possibilities would have to be based.

56

I have begun to think of life as a series of ripples widening out from an original center.

43

At home in Ireland, there's a habit of avoidance, an ironical attitude towards the authority figure.

37

Even if the last move did not succeed, the inner command says move again.

35

The gift of writing is to be self-forgetful.

.. to get a surge of inner life or inner supply or unexpected sense of empowerment, to be afloat, to be out of yourself.

19

Suspect too much sweet talk but never close your mind.

17

Once off the bush The fruit fermented, the sweet flesh would turn sour.

I always felt like crying. It wasn't fair That all the lovely canfuls smelt of rot. Each year I hoped they'd keep, knew they would not. -Blackberry picking

16

Hope for a great sea-change timid to rebuke and too petty to forgive.

15

It is difficult at times to repress the thought that history is about as instructive as an abattoir; that Tacitus was right and that peace is merely the desolation left behind after the decisive operations of merciless power.

14

About Seamus Heaney

Quotes 112 sayings
Nationality Irish
Profession Poet
Birthday October 16

The external reality and inner dynamic of happenings in Northern Ireland between 1968 and 1974 were symptomatic of change, violent change admittedly, but change nevertheless, and for the minority living there, change had been long overdue.

13

My point is there's a hidden Scotland in anyone who speaks the Northern Ireland speech. It's a terrific complicating factor, not just in Northern Ireland, but Ireland generally.

13

I rhyme… to see myself, to set the darkness echoing.

12

Even if the hopes you started out with are dashed, hope has to be maintained.

11

The completely solitary self: that's where poetry comes from, and it gets isolated by crisis, and those crises are often very intimate also.

10

On the contrary, a trust in the staying power and travel-worthiness of such good should encourage us to credit the possibility of a world where respect for the validity of every tradition will issue in the creation and maintenance of a salubrious political space.

9

Desmond O'Grady is one of the senior figures in Irish Literary life, exemplary in the way he has committed himself over the decades to the vocation of poetry and has lived selflessly for the art

9

In fact, in lyric poetry, truthfulness becomes recognizable as a ring of truth within the medium itself.

8

If self is a location, so is love: Bearings taken, markings, cardinal points, Options, obstinacies, dug heels, and distance, Here and there and now and then, a stance.

8

Without needing to be theoretically instructed, consciousness quickly realizes that it is the site of variously contending discourses.

8

The next move is always the test.

8

The whole relationship between a writer's spiritual/emotional condition and the kind of wordstuff and form-making that's going on in his work is an interesting one. When I was an undergraduate, there was a glib notion around that there was no reason to suppose a bad man could be a good writer.

8

The ability to start out upon your own impulse is fundamental to the gift of keeping going upon your own terms. . . . Getting started, keeping going, getting started again in art and in life, it seems to me this is the essential rhythm.

7

Behaviour that's admired is the path to power among people everywhere.

6

I have always thought of poems as stepping stones in one's own sense of oneself.

Every now and again, you write a poem that gives you self-respect and steadies your going a little bit farther out in the stream. At the same time, you have to conjure the next stepping stone because the stream, we hope, keeps flowing.

5

Between my finger and my thumb The squat pen rests; snug as a gun. ~from the poem "Digging

5

You had to come back to learn how to lose yourself, to be pilot and stray-witch, Hansel and Gretel in one.

4

Poetry is always slightly mysterious, and you wonder what is your relationship to it.

4

As writers and readers, as sinners and citizens, our realism and our aesthetic sense make us wary of crediting the positive note.

4

Whether it be a matter of personal relations within a marriage or political initiatives within a peace process, there is no sure-fire do-it-yourself kit.

4

When I was teaching, I gave a lot of my mind and anxiety to it.

There was always something clenched and anxious in me until the classes were over.

4

I credit poetry for making this space-walk possible.

4

I have always thought of poems as stepping stones in one's own sense of oneself.

3

Then as the years went on and my listening became more deliberate, I would climb up on an arm of our big sofa to get my ear closer to the wireless speaker.

3

The fact of the matter is that the most unexpected and miraculous thing in my life was the arrival in it of poetry itself - as a vocation and an elevation almost.

3

It has as much to do with the energy released by linguistic fission and fusion, with the buoyancy generated by cadence and tone and rhyme and stanza, as it has to do with the poem's concerns or the poet's truthfulness.

3

A public expectation, it has to be said, not of poetry as such but of political positions variously approvable by mutually disapproving groups.

3

To begin with, I wanted that truth to life to possess a concrete reliability, and rejoiced most when the poem seemed most direct, an upfront representation of the world it stood in for or stood up for or stood its ground against.

3

The gift of writing is to be self-forgetful...

2

I've always associated the moment of writing with a moment of lift, of joy, of unexpected reward.

2

Write whatever you like!

2

Poetry is language in orbit.

2

So hope for a great sea-change on the far side of revenge.

Believe that further shore is reachable from here. Believe in miracles and cures and healing wells.

2

There is risk and truth to yourselves and the world before you.

1

Getting started, keeping going, getting started again - in art and in life, it seems to me this is the essential rhythm not only of achievement but of survival, the ground of convinced action, the basis of self-esteem and the guarantee of credibility in your lives, credibility to yourselves as well as to others.

1

Now it’s high watermark and floodtide in the heart and time to go.

The sea-nymphs in the spray will be the chorus now. What’s left to say? Suspect too much sweet-talk but never close your mind. It was a fortunate wind that blew me here. I leave half-ready to believe that a crippled trust might walk and the half-true rhyme is love.

1

I always believed that whatever had to be written would somehow get itself written.

1
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