A Gentle Man Passes
Seamus Heaney 1939-2013. R.I.P.
Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney died yesterday 30.08.2013.
With Roger Cummiskey at the Bank of Ireland Arts Centre Foster Place, Dublin.1999.
Bank of Ireland Arts Centre.
A Stroll Through Ulysses - an art exhibition by Roger Cummiskey.
Seamus gave a lunchtime reading and book signing.
We chatted later.
Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney was renowned for his way with words. Below are a small fraction of the quotes which made him popular around the world.
“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.” (This Week magazine, 2004)
“Walk on air against your better judgement.” (Nobel Lecture, 1995)
“If you have the words, there’s always a chance that you’ll find the way.”
“History says, don’t hope ....
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave.
Of justice can rise up,
And hope and history rhyme” (The Cure at Troy, 1991)
“Anyone with gumption and a sharp mind will take the measure of two things: what’s said and what’s done.” (Beowulf: A New Verse Translation, 2001)
“I’m going to afford myself a year off.... and wait and see, and live in panic for the next poem.” (2010)
“At home in Ireland, there’s a habit of avoidance, an ironical attitude towards the authority figure.”
“Poetry cannot afford to lose its fundamentally self-delighting inventiveness, its joy in being a process of language as well as a representation of things in the world.” (The Redress of Poetry, 1990)
“Even if the hopes you started out with are dashed, hope has to be maintained.”
POSTSCRIPT - By Seamus Heaney
And some time make the time to drive out west
Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore,
In September or October, when the wind
And the light are working off each other
So that the ocean on one side is wild
With foam and glitter, and inland among stones
The surface of a slate-grey lake is lit
By the earthed lightning of a flock of swans,
Their feathers roughed and ruffling, white on white,
Their fully grown headstrong-looking heads
Tucked or cresting or busy underwater.
Useless to think you’ll park and capture it
More thoroughly. You are neither here nor there,
A hurry through which known and strange things pass
As big soft buffetings come at the car sideways
And catch the heart off guard and blow it open..
What makes Irish Writers so good?