I suppose for whatever reason I actively welcome being put down, something which perhaps goes back to my upbringing – that accusation of not being worthy which could be laid at one’s door.
Every historian has informally an anthropology, without ever using the word.
The history of mankind is confined within a limited period, and from every quarter brings an intimation that human affairs have had a beginning.
I live in New Jersey now, which always gets a bad rap here and there, but I must say, I enjoy living here too.
In every commercial state, notwithstanding any pretension to equal rights, the exaltation of a few must depress the many.
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.