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Seamus Heaney Quotes

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

I credit poetry for making this space-walk possible.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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