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

45 Thoughful Quotes By Seamus Heaney For The Poet In You

Famous As: Poet, Playwright & Translator Who Received the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature
Born On: April 13, 1939
Died On: August 30, 2013
Born In: Castledawson, Londonderry, Northern Ireland
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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

Seamus Heaney
The end of art is peace.

The end of art is peace.

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

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.

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

All I know is a door into the dark

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

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.

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
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.

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

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.

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

Seamus Heaney
I shall gain glory or die.

I shall gain glory or die.

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

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

Seamus Heaney
A four foot box, a foot for every year.

A four foot box, a foot for every year.

Seamus Heaney
Strange, it is a huge nothing that we fear.

Strange, it is a huge nothing that we fear.

Seamus Heaney
Believe that a further shore is reachable from here.

Believe that a further shore is reachable from here.

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

Seamus Heaney
Since when,

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

Seamus Heaney
By God, the old man could handle a spade.

Just like his old man.

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.

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
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.

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.

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

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.

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
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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

Seamus Heaney
More than loud acclaim, I love
Books, silence, thought, my alcove.

Pangur Bn
Poem by Anon Irish Monk, Translated by 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
Words...To lure the tribal shoals to epigram / And order.

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.

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
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.

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
Don’t have the veins bulging in your biro.

Don’t have the veins bulging in your biro.

Seamus Heaney
My body was braille for the creeping influences.

My body was braille for the creeping influences.

Seamus Heaney