I wish I could write lyrical poems, but I just write the way they come.
‘Ulysses’ is the greatest anti-racist text in the English language, and it challenges right from the beginning the vicious racism which lies near the foundations of the Irish Free State and of the Irish republic.
In my view the European culture carries a very heavy responsibility for the creation of Israel… it is a product of both British and Stalin’s anti- Semitism, but the British never faced their own complicity in its construction.
Let them cant about decorum, Who have characters to lose!
Firmness in enduring and exertion is a character I always wish to possess. I have always despised the whining yelp of complaint and cowardly resolve.
I do think culture is an argument, and that was part of the way I was brought up. People at a social occasion in Ireland will start shouting and arguing. When the Yeats family lived in Bedford Park, they had to go round to the neighbours to say, ‘You might think we are fighting, but this is the way we talk to each other.’
The snowdrop and primrose our woodlands adorn, and violets bathe in the wet o’ the morn.
Being a foreigner is not a disease.
I don’t think the British carry a historical consciousness either.
Is the biographer an artist who can and should exist on equal terms with the dramatist, fiction writer and poet? The short and robust answer is, ‘Certainly not.’