A public expectation, it has to be said, not of poetry as such but of political positions variously approvable by mutually disapproving groups.
As a young poet, you need corroboration, and that’s what publication does.
I’ve been in the habit of helping people.
You can have Irish identity in the north and also have your Irish passport.
I came from a farming background, and my career was teaching.
The experimental poetry thing is not my thing. It’s a programme of the avant-garde: basically a refusal of the kind of poetry I write.
We go to poetry, we go to literature in general, to be forwarded within ourselves.
The Ireland I now inhabit is one that these Irish contemporaries have helped to imagine.
Then as the years went on and my listening became more deliberate, I would climb up on an arm of our big sofa to get my ear closer to the wireless speaker.
The Heaneys were aristocrats, in the sense that they took for granted a code of behavior that was given and unspoken. Argumentation, persuasion, speech itself, for God’s sake, just seemed otiose and superfluous to them.