Seamus Heaney

10 Quotes That Remind Us of the Wisdom of Seamus Heaney

A 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature winner, a poet, a playwright, a translator, and recipient of countless other awards. This is only the surface of what Seamus Heaney had accomplished in his seventy-four years of life. The Derry native has written over twenty volumes of poetry and criticisms as well as work on editing anthologies.


He took his personal experiences growing up in Ireland and created touching works that reached across every ocean and sea. Today he would’ve been seventy-nien and we can’t help but feel that he needs a little more recognition. To the man that left his mark in literature, here are 10 quotes to lift your spirits.


1. 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.


2. “Walk on air against your better judgement.”


3. “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.”



4. “Behaviour that’s admired
is the path to power among people everywhere.”


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



6. “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.”


7. “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.”



8. “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.
You are fasted now, light-headed, dangerous.
Take off from here.”


9. “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.”



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



Feature Image Via The Daily Beast