Seamus Heaney on Work

“Book learning is the thing.
You’re a lucky man.
No stock to feed, no milking times, no tillage
Nor blisters on your hand nor weather-worries”

~ Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney on Hope

“Anything can happen, the tallest towers
Be overturned, those in high places daunted,
Those overlooked regarded.”

~ Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney on Perseverance

“Macoige of Lismore, for instance,
Who, when asked which attribute
Of character was best, replied
“Steadiness, for it is best

When a man has set his hand to tasks
To persevere. I have never heard
Fault found with that.”

~ Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney on Suffering

“Human beings suffer.
They torture one another
They get hurt and get hard.
No poem or play or song
Can fully right a wrong
Inflicted and endured.”

~ Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney on Fear

“The way we are living,
timorous or bold,
will have been our life.”

~ Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney on Life

“Whoever remains
For long here in this earthly life
Will enjoy and endure more than enough.”

~ Beowulf / Translation Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney on Justice

“History says, Don’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. . . Believe that a farther shore Is reachable from here. Believe in miracles And cures and healing wells.”

~ Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney on Action

“Anyone with gumption and a sharp mind will take the measure of two things: what’s said and what’s done.”

~ Seamus Heaney