If you have the words, there's always a chance that you'll find the way.
It is always better to avenge dear ones than to indulge in mourning. For every one of us, living in this world means waiting for our end. Let whoever can win glory before death. When a warrior is gone, that will be his best and only bulwark.
All I know is a door into the dark
Between my finger and my thumb The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.
The way we are living, timorous or bold, will have been our life.
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
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.
I rhyme To see myself, to set the darkness echoing.
There is risk and truth to yourselves and the world before you.
Postscript 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.
Is there life before death? That’s chalked up In Ballymurphy. Competence with pain, Coherent miseries, a bite and a sup, We hug our little destiny again.
I suppose I'm saying that defiance is actually part of the lyric job
I want away to the house of death, to my father under the low, clay roof.
Let whoever can win glory before death.
Mid-Term Break I sat all morning in the college sick bay Counting bells knelling classes to a close. At two o'clock our neighbours drove me home. In the porch I met my father crying— He had always taken funerals in his stride— And Big Jim Evans saying it was a hard blow. The baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pram When I came in, and I was embarrassed By old men standing up to shake my hand And tell me they were 'sorry for my trouble'. Whispers informed strangers I was the eldest, Away at school, as my mother held my hand In hers and coughed out angry tearless sighs. At ten o'clock the ambulance arrived With the corpse, stanched and bandaged by the nurses. Next morning I went up into the room. Snowdrops And candles soothed the bedside; I saw him For the first time in six weeks. Paler now, Wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple, He lay in the four-foot box as in his cot. No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear. A four-foot box, a foot for every year.
But death is not easily escaped from by anyone: all of us with souls, earth-dwellers and children of men, must make our way to a destination already ordained where the body, after the banqueting, sleeps on its deathbed.
That was their way, their heathenish hope; deep in their hearts they remembered hell.
I trust contrariness. ... I simply rebelled at being commanded.
The main thing is to write for the joy of it. Cultivate a work-lust that imagines its haven like your hands at night dreaming the sun in the sunspot of a breast. You are fasted now, light-headed, dangerous. Take off from here.
More than loud acclaim, I love Books, silence, thought, my alcove. Pangur Bán Poem by Anon Irish Monk, Translated by Seamus Heaney