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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.
We simply have not kept in touch with poetry.
The other side of it is that, despite all that, people reach out to poetry at the key moments in their lives.
The ground swell is what's going to sink you as well as being what buoys you up. These are cliches also, of course, and I'm sometimes interested in how much one can get away with.
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.
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.
Of course, you can't legislate for how people are going to read.
Obviously one of the things that poets from Northern Ireland and beyond - had to try to make sense of was what was happening on a day-to-day political level.
Living at that pitch, on that edge, is something which many poets engage in to some extent.
It seems to me the structure of the Quartets is too imposed.
I'm sure 50 percent of television ads use rhyme.
I was born in Northern Ireland in 1951. I lived most of my life there until 1986 or 1987.
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