Poetry is what we do to break bread with the dead. Seamus Heane
History says, Donâ€™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
I'm not personally obsessed with death. At a certain age, the light that you live in is inhabited by the shades - it 'tis.
Manifesting that order of poetry where we can at last grow up to that which we stored up as we grew.
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.
To encounter 'Beowulf' is like taking a sledgehammer to a quarry face. You must bang in there.
The wartime, in other words, was pre-reflective time for me. Pre-literate too. Pre-historical in its way.
I'm very conscious that people dear to me are alive in my imagination - poets in particular.
Your temperament is what you write with, but it's also how you deal with the world.
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.
I always had a superstitious fear of setting up a too well-designed writing place and then finding that the writing had absconded.
Write whatever you like!
Since I was a schoolboy, I've been used to being recognized on the road by old and young, and being bantered with and, indeed, being taunted.
Anyone born and bred in Northern Ireland can't be too optimistic. Seamus Heane
I think of Dermot Healy as the heir to Patrick Kavanagh.
You had to come back to learn how to lose yourself, to be pilot and stray-witch, Hansel and Gretel in one.
I believe we are put here to improve civilisation. Seamus Heane
Don't be surprised if I demur, for, be advised my passport's green.
Poems that come swiftly are usually the ones that you keep.
My father and mother had no sense of entitlement for their children. Seamus Heane
Even if the last move did not succeed, the inner command says move again.
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.
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 convincedaction, the basis of self-esteem and the guarantee of credibility in your lives, credibility to yourselves as well a
Nowadays, what an award gives is a sense of solidarity with the poetry guild, as it were: sustenance coming from the assent of your peers on the judging panel.
I've nothing against the Queen personally: I had lunch at the Palace once upon a time.
The murder of Sean Brown hurt my soul.
Strange, it is a huge nothing that we fear.
Two buckets were easier carried than one. / I grew up in between.
Poetry is a domestic art, most itself when most at home.
The kind of poet who founds and reconstitutes values is somebody like Yeats or Whitman - these are public value-founders.