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Seamus Heaney's Quotes

Seamus Heaney profile photo

Born: 1939-04-13
Profession: Poet
Nation: Irish
Biography of Seamus Heaney

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

Tags: Attitude, Authority, Home

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

Tags: Mysterious, Poetry, Wonder

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

Tags: Somehow, Whatever, Written

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.

Tags: Marriage, Peace, Political

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

Tags: Joy, Moment, Writing

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

Tags: Fact, Poetry, Truth

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

Tags: Contending, Needing, Site

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.

Tags: Big, Climb, Listening

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

Tags: Poetry, Political, Said

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

Tags: Hope, Hopes, Started

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

Tags: Again, Last, Succeed

Manifesting that order of poetry where we can at last grow up to that which we stored up as we grew.

Tags: Last, Order, Poetry

The Ireland I now inhabit is one that these Irish contemporaries have helped to imagine.

Tags: Helped, Imagine, Irish

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

Tags: Risk, Truth

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.

Tags: End, Mind, Thought

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.

Tags: Change, Trust, Truth

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

Tags: Positive, Sense, Writers

I credit poetry for making this space-walk possible.

Tags: Making, Poetry, Possible

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

Tags: Life, Original, Series

I suppose you could say my father's world was Thomas Hardy and my mother's D.H. Lawrence.

Tags: Father, Hardy, Mother

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

Tags: Crisis, Poetry, Self

Write whatever you like!

Tags: Whatever, Write

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.

Tags: Anyone, Point, Speech

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.

Tags: Life, Matter, Poetry