A person from Northern Ireland is naturally cautious. Seamus Heane
You yourself don't have to be shaken by mortal danger in order to feel your mortality. Seamus He
The Heaneys were aristocrats, in the sense that they took for granted a code of behavior that was given and unspoken. Argumentation, persuasion, speech itself, for God's sake, just seemed otiose and superfluous to them.
I shall gain glory or die.
Poetry is always slightly mysterious, and you wonder what is your relationship to it. Seamus He
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.
In poetry, everything can be faked but the intensity of utterance.
The fact of the matter is that the most unexpected and miraculous thing in my life was the arrival in it of poetry itself - as a vocation and an elevation almost.
Dylan Thomas is now as much a case history as a chapter in the history of poetry. Seamus Heane
The kind of poet who founds and reconstitutes values is somebody like Yeats or Whitman - these are public value-founders.
I drink to keep body and soul apart.
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.
The gift of writing is to be self-forgetful, to get a surge of inner life or inner supply or unexpected sense of empowerment, to be afloat, to be out of yourself.
I don't think my intelligence is naturally analytic or political. Seamus Heane
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.
Anybody serious about poetry knows how hard it is to achieve anything worthwhile in it.
The problem as you get older... is that you become more self-aware. At the same time, you have to surprise yourself. There's no way of arranging the surprise, so it is tricky.
The end of art is peace.
Yeats was 18th-century oratory, almost. Seamus He
When I first encountered the name of the city of Stockholm, I little thought that I would ever visit it, never mind end up being welcomed to it as a guest of the Swedish Academy and the Nobel Foundation.
I think of Dermot Healy as the heir to Patrick Kavanagh. Seamus Heane
In Northern Ireland, helicopters are not usually used to promote poetry. Seamus He
Even if the last move did not succeed, the inner command says move again. Seamus He
If you have the words, there's always a chance that you'll find the way.
I've been in the habit of helping people. Seamus Heane
Anyone born and bred in Northern Ireland can't be too optimistic.
My experience is that prose usually equals duty - last minute, overdue-deadline stuff or a panic lecture to be written.
The gift of writing is to be self-forgetful â€¦ to get a surge of inner life or inner supply or unexpected sense of empowerment, to be afloat, to be out of yourself.
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.
I always believed that whatever had to be written would somehow get itself written.