St Patrick’s Day: celebrate great Irish writers with HTWB…

st patricks day on HTWB

“Irish improves a poet.” Sina Queyras

In honour of St Patrick’s Day, here are some of my favourite quotes by wonderful Irish poets and other writers … enjoy!

George Bernard Shaw

*Youth is wasted on the young.
*You use a glass mirror to see your face: you use works of art to see your soul.”
*I often quote myself; it adds spice to my conversations.
*Never wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.

William Butler Yeats

*I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate
Those that I guard I do not love.

*When you are old and gray and full of sleep
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep

Brendan Behan

*I am a drinker with writing problems.
*There is no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary.
*I have a total irreverence for anything connected with society except that which makes the roads safer, the beer stronger, the food cheaper and the old men and old *women warmer in the winter and happier in the summer.
*When I came back to Dublin I was court-martialled in my absence and sentenced to death in my absence, so I said they could shoot me in my absence.
*No strangers here, just friends you haven’t met!
*Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how it’s done, they’ve seen it done every day, but they’re unable to do it themselves.

irish poets on HTWBJames Joyce

*Your battles inspired me – not the obvious material battles but those that were fought and won behind your forehead.
*Writing in English is the most ingenious torture ever devised for sins committed in previous lives. The English reading public explains the reason why.

Samuel Beckett

*The earth makes a sound as of sighs and the last drops fall from the emptied cloudless sky. A small boy, stretching out his hands and looking up at the blue sky, asked his mother how such a thing was possible. F*ck off, she said.
*Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.

Wayne Kelly

*Never fight ugly people—they have nothing to lose.
*The same hand that can write a beautiful poem, can knock you out with one punch—that’s Poetic Justice.

Spike Milligan

*All I ask is the chance to prove that money can’t make me happy.
*Many people die of thirst but the Irish are born with one.

Irish writers on HTWBOne-off pearls

*Writing is learning to say nothing, more cleverly each day
William Allingham

*I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train. 
Oscar Wilde

*When anyone asks me about the Irish character, I say look at the trees. Maimed, stark and misshapen, but ferociously tenacious.
Edna O’Brien

*I think there’s something about the Irish experience — that we had to have a sense of humor or die. That’s what kept us going — a sense of absurdity, rather than humor.
Frank McCourt

*We should silence anyone who opposes the right to freedom of speech.
Boyle Roche

*The English imposed their language on Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and they weren’t terribly nice about it.
Howard Tomb

*The Irish way of telling a story is a complex and elaborate one, complete with wild exaggerations, a certain delight in improbable fantasy, and a heightened sense of drama.
Rashers Tierney

st patricks day on HTWB*Irish improves a poet.
Sina Queyras

*With a hand full of beer and a heart full of cheer, I’m as Irish as I can get, but add good times and some quick funny lines… and gold I make leprechauns sh!t. Sláinte!
Jon Bendera

*…to be Irish is to know the world will break your heart before you are thirty.
Virginia Henley

*In 1969 I gave up women and alcohol – it was the worst 20 minutes of my life.
George Best

And my personal favourite (so true for me – Sz)

*More than loud acclaim, I love
Books, silence, thought, my alcove.

Pangur Bán
Poem by Anon Irish Monk, translated by Seamus Heaney

Irish literature on HTWBWhat are your favourite Irish writers, and their most famous quotations?

Please share!