These three movements were born spontaneously and independently of the initiative of a few French patriots who had a place in the old political groups and parties.
What I try to do is to go into a poem – and one writes them, of course, poem by poem – to go into each poem, first of all without having any sense whatsoever of where it’s going to end up.
I met Seamus Heaney and Michael Longley on the same day in 1968. I was sixteen at the time. Very exciting. They were reading at Armagh. One of my teachers brought me to meet them, introduced me, and I became friends with them.
The artist finds, that the more he can confine his attention to a particular part of any work, his productions are the more perfect, and grow under his hands in the greater quantities.
Believe it or not, one of the first poets I was aware of was Yeats. I recited ‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree’ at a verse speaking competition when I was eight or nine.
We simply have not kept in touch with poetry.
Frost isn’t exactly despised but not enough people have worked out what a brilliant poet he was.
There is something very intriguing about, for example, the sense of accomplishment that a small child has, which you might be able to reduce to aggression and libido, but which might also have some independent existence.
Of course, you can’t legislate for how people are going to read.
Like the winds that we come we know not whence and blow whither soever they list, the forces of society are derived from an obscure and distant origin. They arise before the date of philosophy, from the instincts, not the speculations of men.