Writer’s Quote Wednesday // William Allingham


Hello dear readers, and welcome to the middle of the week. If you are feeling a little run down, if Friday is feeling a little too far away, I encourage you to check out Writer’s Quote Wednesday, a weekly event hosted by Colleen at Silver Threading. My contribution for the week is from the Irish poet William Allingham.

433409William Allingham was born on 19 March 1824 in the little port of Ballyshannon, County Donegal, Ireland.

He was a poet, diarist and editor, and achieved a moderate level of fame during his lifetime, writing several volumes of lyric verse, and his poem The Faeries was much anthologised. He is best remembered, though, for his posthumously published diary, which was edited by his wife, Helen Allingham, a well-known water-colorist and illustrator and 24 years younger than him. The diary details his entertaining encounters with Alfred Tennyson, Thomas Carlyle, and other famous writers.

Allingham had a substantial influence on W. B. Yeats;  while the Ulster poet John Hewitt felt Allingham’s impact keenly, and attempted to revive his reputation by editing, and writing an introduction to, The Poems of William Allingham. Allingham’s wide-ranging anthology of poetry, Nightingale Valley was to be the inspiration for the 1923 collection Come Hither by Walter de la Mare.

In 1889, on 18 November, William died at Hampstead. According to his wishes, he was cremated. His ashes are interred at St. Anne’s church in his native Ballyshannon.

Writing is learning to say nothing, more cleverly each day.

// William Allingham

Replace writing with blogging, or don’t it works either way I suppose, and that is what I am doing here. Blogging sometimes feels like saying the same thing over and over again but trying to say it better and more clearly. I think most of us are trying to say something about who we are and what we wish to leave behind. We want to have an impact on the world and we want to leave things better than we found them in our lifetimes. Writing is one way to do that.

I happen to think it is the best way to do that. Writing means opening your heart and hoping what you think, feel, and see will be thought, felt, and seen by every other human being. It is a way to take the parts of you that are undefinable and unexplainable, and try to fit them into the inadequate container of language.

It is grueling work and I don’t think anyone, not even the best of us, get it right. So instead, we write a whole lot of nothing in a different way, from different perspectives, through different characters, and in a myriad of styles, in the hopes that through words our names will come to mean that thing we are digging out of ourselves. We write that nothing a little better and a little more cleverly each day but tomorrow you will wake up and realized you haven’t explained it quite right and you will be at it again, and again, and again….


Original image via Unsplash

Biographical information via Wikipedia and Goodreads


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