Seamus Heaney (1939-2013)

“In one sense, the efficacy of poetry is nil – no lyric has ever stopped a tank. In other sense, it is unlimited. It is like the writing in the sand, in the face of which accuser and accused are left speechless and renewed. Poetry does not say, ‘Now a solution will take place.’ It does not propose to be instrumental or effective. Instead, in the rift between what is going to happen and whatever we would wish to happen, poetry holds attention for a space, functions not as a distraction but as pure concentration, a focus where our power to concentrate is concentrated back on ourselves.”

– Seamus Heaney

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