Top 99 Seamus Heaney Quotes

Words matter. These are the best Seamus Heaney Quotes, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.

I suppose you could say my father's world was Thomas Ha

I suppose you could say my father’s world was Thomas Hardy and my mother’s D.H. Lawrence.
Seamus Heaney
Eternal life can mean utter reverence for life itself.
Seamus Heaney
Even if the last move did not succeed, the inner command says move again.
Seamus Heaney
Anyone born and bred in Northern Ireland can’t be too optimistic.
Seamus Heaney
I suppose you inevitably fall into habits of expression.
Seamus Heaney
In poetry, everything can be faked but the intensity of utterance.
Seamus Heaney
At home in Ireland, there’s a habit of avoidance, an ironical attitude towards the authority figure.
Seamus Heaney
The Ireland I now inhabit is one that these Irish contemporaries have helped to imagine.
Seamus Heaney
I’m very conscious that people dear to me are alive in my imagination – poets in particular.
Seamus Heaney
I believe we are put here to improve civilisation.
Seamus Heaney
Memory has always been fundamental for me. In fact, remembering what I had forgotten is the way most of the poems get started.
Seamus Heaney
What I’ve said before, only half in joke, is that everybody in Ireland is famous. Or, maybe better, say everybody is familiar.
Seamus Heaney
Poetry is a domestic art, most itself when most at home.
Seamus Heaney
In poetry, everything can be faked but the intensity of utterance.
Seamus Heaney
Poems that come swiftly are usually the ones that you keep.
Seamus Heaney
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.
Seamus Heaney
At home in Ireland, there’s a habit of avoidance, an ironical attitude towards the authority figure.
Seamus Heaney
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.
Seamus Heaney
Anybody serious about poetry knows how hard it is to achieve anything worthwhile in it.
Seamus Heaney
There is risk and truth to yourselves and the world before you.
Seamus Heaney
Write whatever you like!
Seamus Heaney
Loyalism, or Unionism, or Protestantism, or whatever you want to call it, in Northern Ireland – it operates not as a class system, but a caste system.
Seamus Heaney
I’m not personally obsessed with death. At a certain age, the light that you live in is inhabited by the shades – it ’tis.
Seamus Heaney
The day I entered St Columb’s College, my parents bought me a Conway Stewart pen. It was a special afternoon, of course. We were going to be parting that evening; they were aware of it, I was aware of it, nothing much was said about it.
Seamus Heaney
Dylan Thomas is now as much a case history as a chapter in the history of poetry.
Seamus Heaney
My father was a creature of the archaic world, really. He would have been entirely at home in a Gaelic hill-fort. His side of the family, and the houses I associate with his side of the family, belonged to a traditional rural Ireland.
Seamus Heaney
I’ve said it before about the Nobel Prize: it’s like being struck by a more or less benign avalanche. It was unexpected, unlooked for, and extraordinary.
Seamus Heaney
There’s never going to be a united Ireland, you know.
Seamus Heaney
Anybody serious about poetry knows how hard it is to achieve anything worthwhile in it.
Seamus Heaney
Dylan Thomas is now as much a case history as a chapter in the history of poetry.
Seamus Heaney
Even if the last move did not succeed, the inner command says move again.
Seamus Heaney
I've nothing against the Queen personally. I had lunch

I’ve nothing against the Queen personally. I had lunch at the Palace once upon a time.
Seamus Heaney
The kind of poet who founds and reconstitutes values is somebody like Yeats or Whitman – these are public value-founders.
Seamus Heaney
I’ve been in the habit of helping people.
Seamus Heaney
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.
Seamus Heaney
Manifesting that order of poetry where we can at last grow up to that which we stored up as we grew.
Seamus Heaney
It is very true to say that work done by writers is quite often an attempt to give solid expression to that which is bothering them… They feel they have got it right if they express the stress.
Seamus Heaney
In my early teens, I acquired a kind of representative status: went on behalf of the family to wakes and funerals and so on. And I would be counted on as an adult contributor when it came to farm work – the hay in the summertime, for example.
Seamus Heaney
My language and my sensibility are yearning to admit a kind of religious or transcendent dimension. But then there’s the reality: there’s no Heaven, no afterlife of the sort we were promised, and no personal God.
Seamus Heaney
The faking of feelings is a sin against the imagination.
Seamus Heaney