The poet, and the poetry of, Seamus Heaney is not a product of the Northern Ireland conflict, except in the sense that his is a sensibility that seeks to assuage and to heal.
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Sometimes the experience of writing my memoirs is like the experience of life--euphoric; sometimes it is homely and domestic; sometimes there is the sense of the ceaseless surge of the sea, of a fierceness of energy; sometimes I feel as if I am in possession of the heart's foul rag and bone shop, as the elder Yeats poignantly described his inner life. Sometimes I feel as if I am obsessively preoccupied with refining perceptions, with analysing. Sometimes I feel my agenda is in some basic ways one that is similar to Yeats who once said the only two things that should concern a serious writer is: death and sex. Well, like so many things, there is some truth here.
I feel no need to continue the external journey, occupied as it was with living in some two dozen towns over the last forty years, but I do not want my life to end. This tinkering in the world of thanatos, of the death wish, does occur for short periods late at night, a residue of this bi-polar disorder.