Seamus Justin Heaney, born 13th April, 1939 in County Derry, was an Irish poet, playwright and translator. Heaney was reared in a large family, being the eldest of nine and in his Nobel lecture described his childhood as “an intimate, physical, creaturely existence…”
The people, landscapes and memories that surrounded him throughout his upbringing would shape his poetry along his journey of life.
During the 1980’s and 1990’s, Heaney’s international reputation grew, leading him to teach at Harvard University for four months every year. He travelled around the world, delivering lectures, taking part in activities such as festivals and summer schools, and giving readings.
Seamus Heaney sadly passed away on 30 August 2013 at the age of 74, following a very short illness, after suffering a fall outside a restaurant in Dublin.
We remember and celebrate Seamus Heaney with some of his most famous quotes throughout his life –
“Even if the hopes you started out with are dashed, hope has to be maintained.”
“There is risk and truth to yourselves and the world before you.”
“Poetry is always slightly mysterious, and you wonder what is your relationship to it.”
“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.”
“If you have the words, there’s always a chance that you’ll find the way”
“I’ve always associated the moment of writing with a moment of life, of joy, of unexpected reward.”
“Walk on air against your better judgement”
“Even if the last move did not succeed, the inner command says move again.”
“The thing about writing is that if you have the impulse, you will find the time.”
“The way we are living, timorous or bold, will have been our life.”
“Hope is not optimism, which expects things to turn out well, but something rooted in the conviction that there is good worth working for.”
“Memory has always been fundamental for me. In fact, remembering what I had forgotten is the way most of the poems get started.”