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All Quotes by author - Seamus Heaney
" Anybody serious about poetry knows how hard it is to achieve anything worthwhile in it. "
" Anyone born and bred in Northern Ireland can't be too optimistic. "
" A person from Northern Ireland is naturally cautious. "
" A public expectation, it has to be said, not of poetry as such but of political positions variously approvable by mutually disapproving groups. "
" As a young poet, you need corroboration, and that's what publication does. "
" 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. "
" Dylan Thomas is now as much a case history as a chapter in the history of poetry. "
" Eternal life can mean utter reverence for life itself. "
" 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. "
" Every time you read a poem aloud to yourself in the presence of others, you are reading it into yourself and them. Voice helps to carry words farther and deeper than the eye. "
" History says, 'Don't hope on this side of the grave.' "
" I always believed that whatever had to be written would somehow get itself written. "
" I always had a superstitious fear of setting up a too well-designed writing place and then finding that the writing had absconded. "
" I believe we are put here to improve civilisation. "
" I came from a farming background, and my career was teaching. "
" I credit poetry for making this space-walk possible. "
" I don't do as many readings as I used to. There was a time when I was on the road a lot more, at home in Ireland, in Britain, in Canada and the States, a time when I had more stamina and appetite for it. "
" I don't think my intelligence is naturally analytic or political. "
" I feel myself part of something. Not only being part of a community but part of an actual moment and a movement of Irish writing and art. That sense of being part of the whole thing is the deepest joy. "
" If poetry and the arts do anything, they can fortify your inner life, your inwardness. "
" If you go into an underground train in London - probably anywhere, but chiefly in London - there's that sense of almost entering a ghostly dimension. People are very still and quiet; they don't exchange many pleasantries. "
" I have always thought of poems as stepping stones in one's own sense of oneself. Every now and again, you write a poem that gives you self-respect and steadies your going a little bit farther out in the stream. At the same time, you have to conjure the next stepping stone because the stream, we hope, keeps flowing. "
" I have begun to think of life as a series of ripples widening out from an original center. "
" I'm a firm believer in learning by heart. "
" I'm not personally obsessed with death. At a certain age, the light that you live in is inhabited by the shades - it 'tis. "
" I'm very conscious that people dear to me are alive in my imagination - poets in particular. "
" In a war situation or where violence and injustice are prevalent, poetry is called upon to be something more than a thing of beauty. "
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