Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A collection of thoughts and quotes by Seamus Heaney on poetry, plays, writing, expression, voice, life, feelings, hope, peace, words and literature.

45 Thoughful Quotes By Seamus Heaney For The Poet In You

Quick Facts

Famous As: Poet

Born On: April 13, 1939

Died On: August 30, 2013

Born In: Castledawson

Died At Age: 74

Seamus Heaney was an acclaimed Irish poet and lecturer, also considered to be a remarkable playwright and translator. During his graduation on English Language and Literature in Belfast he came across Ted Hughes’s ‘Lupercal’ which inspired him to write poems. Heaney through a majority of his works praised the beauty of nature and this helped him gain great popularity in the United Kingdom. He also wrote persuasive poems on love and mythology. Many of his works are written as a memory of his upbringings in the rural area of North Ireland. He worked as a professor at Harvard and Oxford. He was honored with the ‘Nobel Prize for Literature’ in 1995 among various other awards. Read on the compilation of quotations and thoughts which have been curated from his books, poems, lectures, plays, dialogues and work. Go through these quotes and sayings by Seamus Heaney that highlight his wonderful way of imparting wisdom with the help of poetry.
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If you have the words, there's always a chance that you'll find the way.

Seamus Heaney

Walk on air against your better judgement.

Seamus Heaney

I can't think of a case where poems changed the world, but what they do is they change people's understanding of what's going on in the world.

Seamus Heaney

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

Seamus Heaney

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

Seamus Heaney

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

Seamus Heaney

The end of art is peace.

Seamus Heaney

Between my finger and my thumb The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.

Seamus Heaney

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.

Seamus Heaney

All I know is a door into the dark

Seamus Heaney

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

Seamus Heaney

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.

Seamus Heaney

Sink every impulse like a bolt. Secure The bastion of sensation. Do not waver Into language. Do not waver in it.

Seamus Heaney

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

Seamus Heaney

The aim of poetry and the poet is finally to be of service, to ply the effort of the individual into the larger work of the community as a whole.

Seamus Heaney

I shall gain glory or die.

Seamus Heaney

The way we are living, timorous or bold, will have been our life.

Seamus Heaney

And a young prince must be prudent like that, giving freely while his father lives so that afterwards, in age when fighting starts steadfast companions will stand by him and hold the line.

Seamus Heaney

In off the moors, down through the mist beams, god-cursed Grendel came greedily loping.

Seamus Heaney

I suppose I'm saying that defiance is actually part of the lyric job

Seamus Heaney

Be advised my passport's green. No glass of ours was ever raised to toast the Queen.

Seamus Heaney

A four foot box, a foot for every year.

Seamus Heaney

Strange, it is a huge nothing that we fear.

Seamus Heaney

The dotted line my father's ashplant made On Sandymount Strand Is something else the tide won't wash away.

Seamus Heaney

That was their way, their heathenish hope; deep in their hearts they remembered hell.

Seamus Heaney

By God, the old man could handle a spade. Just like his old man.

Seamus Heaney

The main thing is to write for the joy of it. Cultivate a work-lust that imagines its haven like your hands at night dreaming the sun in the sunspot of a breast.

Seamus Heaney

I want away to the house of death, to my father under the low, clay roof.

Seamus Heaney

Then I thought of the tribe whose dances never fail / For they keep dancing till they sight the deer.

Seamus Heaney

Believe that a further shore is reachable from here.

Seamus Heaney

He sits, strong and blunt as a Celtic cross, Clearly used to silence and an armchair: Tonight the wife and children will be quiet At slammed door and smoker's cough in the hall.

Seamus Heaney

If you have the words, there’s always a chance that you’ll find the way.

Seamus Heaney

More than loud acclaim, I love Books, silence, thought, my alcove. Pangur Bn Poem by Anon Irish Monk, Translated by Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney

Believe that further shore Is reachable from here. Believe in miracle And cures and healing wells.

Seamus Heaney

Since when," he asked, "Are the first line and last line of any poem Where the poem begins and ends?

Seamus Heaney

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.

Seamus Heaney

Words...To lure the tribal shoals to epigram / And order.

Seamus Heaney

Is there life before death? That’s chalked up In Ballymurphy. Competence with pain, Coherent miseries, a bite and a sup, We hug our little destiny again.

Seamus Heaney

How perilous is it to choose not to love the life we’re shown?

Seamus Heaney

Love brought me that far by the hand, without The slightest doubt or irony, dry-eyed And knowledgeable, contrary as be damned; Then just kept standing there, not letting go.

Seamus Heaney

Only the very stupid or the very deprived can any longer help knowing that the documents of civilization have been written in blood and tears, blood and tears no less real for being very remote.

Seamus Heaney

To work, her dumb lunge says, is to move a certain mass ...through a certain distance, is to pull your weight and feel exact and equal to it. Feel dragged upon. And buoyant.

Seamus Heaney

I cannot be weaned/Off the earth's long contour, her river-veins.

Seamus Heaney

Don’t have the veins bulging in your biro.

Seamus Heaney

My body was braille for the creeping influences.

Seamus Heaney