Tag: seamus heaney

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 

seamus heaney

New Exhibition to Show Nobel Prize Winner Seamus Heaney’s Writing Process

Seamus Heaney, one of Ireland’s and, indeed, the world’s greatest poets, won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995. He passed away in 2013. I remember I was at a music festival in County Laois when I heard, half drunk in a field with all my friends and everybody was so shocked as the news began to make its way around the campsite. If ever you’re experiencing any of those pervasive, pesky, middle-aged doubts about whether young people still appreciate art or poetry, know that hundreds of twenty-year-olds at Electric Picnic in 2013 stopped what they were doing and wept when they that heard Heaney died, that every drink poured down their throats that night was first raised to his memory.


Seamus Heaney’s work often explored the tensions and violence in Northern Ireland between Protestants and Catholics, Unionists and Nationalists, as well as delving deeper into Ireland’s past, for example examining the phenomenon of bog bodies in his poem ‘The Tollund Man.‘ 


On this World Poetry Day, the National Museum of Ireland has Tweeted a photograph of a page of Heaney’s poetry, edited and annotated by the man himself, as a taster for what is in store for those lucky enough to attend their upcoming exhibition. 



According to the National Library:


“Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again”, a major international exhibition that will tell the story of the work of the Nobel Laureate and one of Ireland’s most loved writers. The exhibition will draw on our extensive archive of Heaney documents and will include diary entries, photos, note books and recordings. Opening in summer 2018 at the Bank of Ireland Cultural and Heritage Centre, College Green, Dublin 2, in partnership with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Bank of Ireland.


If given the chance to visit Dublin while it’s on, any self respecting book worm must make it their business to visit this tribute to one of the greatest poets of all time. 





Featured Image Via The Times