Some of the most spinetingling and haunting lines ever penned by an Irish hand

Some of the most spinetingling and haunting lines ever penned by an Irish hand


1. Samuel Beckett, The Unnameable

“…where I am, I don't know, I'll never know, in the silence you don't know, you must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on.”

Irish poet William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939). (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images) William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939). (Picture: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

2.  W.B. Yeats, He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven

“I have spread my dreams under your feet.  Tread softly because you tread on my dreams”

3. Austin Clarke, The Planter’s Daughter

“And O she was the Sunday. In every week”

28th May 1889: Irish playwright, novelist, essayist, poet and wit Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900). (Photo by W. & D. Downey/Hulton Archive/Getty Images) Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900). (Picture: W. &/D. Downey/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

4. Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars”

5. Louis MacNeice,  Autumn Journal

“Who has left a scent on my life, and left my walls
Dancing over and over with her shadow
Whose hair is twined in all my waterfalls
And all of London littered with remembered kisses”

Patrick_Kavanagh_monument_at_Grand_Canal,_Dublin Patrick Kavanagh (1904-1967) monument

6. Patrick Kavanagh, Memory of my Father

“Every old man I see
In October-coloured weather
Seems to say to me
I was once your father"

7. Brian Friel, Philadelphia, Here I Come!

“It’s all over…And it’s all about to begin”

Seamus Heaney Seamus Heaney (1939-2013)

8. Séamus Heaney, Scaffolding

“So if, my dear, there sometimes seem to be
Old bridges breaking between you and me
Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall
Confident that we have built our wall”