Saturday, November 08, 2008

Things i can relate to

Does your innate scepticism intensify doubts about presuming to pursue a life in poetry?

You could say that every poem I write - or that anybody else writes, for that matter - is a way of overcoming those doubts. Anybody serious about poetry knows how hard it is to achieve anything worthwhile in it. I used to think that, if you came from a background like mine, your approach to the muse was shyer than if you came from a more bookish or artistic family, but now I'm not so sure. Yeats had an artist daddy, Eliot had a poetry-writing mammy, and that was a great help to them. But what about Elizabeth Bishop or Plath? Or Kavanagh? Or Pessoa? You could argue that scepticism about literature is what actually inspired Pessoa.

Seamus Heaney


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