One will never again look at a birch tree, after the Robert Frost poem, in exactly the same way.
On the other hand, at some level the mass of unresolved issues in Northern Ireland does influence the fact that there are so many good writers in the place.
I was born in Northern Ireland in 1951. I lived most of my life there until 1986 or 1987.
That’s one of the great things about poetry; one realises that one does one’s little turn – that you’re just part of the great crop, as it were.
At high school, instead of the weekly essay, I would write a poem, and the teacher accepted that. The impulse was one of laziness, I’m certain. Poems were shorter than essays.