The completely solitary self: that’s where poetry comes from, and it gets isolated by crisis, and those crises are often very intimate also.

Seamus Heaney

My point is there’s a hidden Scotland in anyone who speaks the Northern Ireland speech. It’s a terrific complicating factor, not just in Northern Ireland, but Ireland generally.

Seamus Heaney

Poetry is always slightly mysterious, and you wonder what is your relationship to it.

Seamus Heaney

Read more quotes from these Nobel Laureates in Literature:

Doris LessingAlice MunroKazuo IshiguroJean Paul Sartre
Mario Vargas LlosaBob DylanPearl S. Buck Albert Camus
J. M. CoetzeeOrhan PamukV.S. Naipaul Seamus Heaney
Ernest HemingwayNadine GordimerG√ľnter GrassKenzaburo Oe
Harold PinterDario FoJose SaramagoWislawa Szymborska
Wole SoyinkaOctavio PazAndre GideGabriel Garcia Marquez
Patrick WhitePablo NerudaSamuel BeckettShmuel Y. Agnon
Bertrand RussellNaguib MahfouzJoseph BrodskyJohn Steinbeck
Salvatore Quasimodo Aleksandr SolzhenitsynThomas MannHermann Hesse

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.

Seamus Heaney

Then as the years went on and my listening became more deliberate, I would climb up on an arm of our big sofa to get my ear closer to the wireless speaker.

Seamus Heaney

There is risk and truth to yourselves and the world before you.

Seamus Heaney

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.

Seamus Heaney

Whether it be a matter of personal relations within a marriage or political initiatives within a peace process, there is no sure-fire do-it-yourself kit.

Seamus Heaney

Write whatever you like!

Seamus Heaney

Manifesting that order of poetry where we can at last grow up to that which we stored up as we grew.

Seamus Heaney

Without needing to be theoretically instructed, consciousness quickly realizes that it is the site of variously contending discourses.

Seamus Heaney

Even if the hopes you started out with are dashed, hope has to be maintained.

Seamus Heaney

The Ireland I now inhabit is one that these Irish contemporaries have helped to imagine.

Seamus Heaney

In fact, in lyric poetry, truthfulness becomes recognizable as a ring of truth within the medium itself.

Seamus Heaney

But that citizen’s perception was also at one with the truth in recognizing that the very brutality of the means by which the IRA were pursuing change was destructive of the trust upon which new possibilities would have to be based.

Seamus Heaney

Even if the last move did not succeed, the inner command says move again.

Seamus Heaney

I always believed that whatever had to be written would somehow get itself written.

Seamus Heaney

I credit poetry for making this space-walk possible.

Seamus Heaney

As writers and readers, as sinners and citizens, our realism and our aesthetic sense make us wary of crediting the positive note.

Seamus Heaney

I have begun to think of life as a series of ripples widening out from an original center.

Seamus Heaney

A public expectation, it has to be said, not of poetry as such but of political positions variously approvable by mutually disapproving groups.

Seamus Heaney

I suppose you could say my father’s world was Thomas Hardy and my mother’s D.H. Lawrence.

Seamus Heaney

I’ve always associated the moment of writing with a moment of lift, of joy, of unexpected reward.

Seamus Heaney

At home in Ireland, there’s a habit of avoidance, an ironical attitude towards the authority figure.

Seamus Heaney