Literary Birthday – 13 April – Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney was born 13 April 1939, and died 30 August 2013.

Seamus Heaney Quotes

  1. 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.
  2. Debate doesn’t really change things. It gets you bogged in deeper. If you can address or reopen the subject with something new, something from a different angle, then there is some hope…. That’s something poetry can do for you, it can entrance you for a moment above the pool of your own consciousness and your own possibilities.
  3. If you have the words, there’s always a chance that you’ll find the way.
  4. Poetry cannot afford to lose its fundamentally self-delighting inventiveness, its joy in being a process of language as well as a representation of things in the world.
  5. I’ve always associated the moment of writing with a moment of lift, of joy, of unexpected reward.
  6. Getting started, keeping going, getting started again — in art and in life, it seems to me this is the essential rhythm not only of achievement but of survival, the ground of convinced action, the basis of self-esteem and the guarantee of credibility in your lives, credibility to yourselves as well as to others.
  7. Remember that the anchor of your being lies in human affection and human responsibility, but remember also to keep swimming up into the air of envisaged possibilities.
  8. Anyone with gumption and a sharp mind will take the measure of two things: what’s said and what’s done.

Seamus Heaney was an Irish poet, playwright, translator, and lecturer. He won the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature. Read a selection of his poetry in 100 Poems.

Source for Image: Gotfryd, Bernard, photographer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons,_Irish_poet,_brightened.jpg

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 13th April 2013