Northern Ireland

April 13, 2010 - 5:59pm
The Northern Irish poet and Nobel Prize winner went to college and began writing 'to make sense of a life in that time.'

Tensions between past and present, rural and urban life, the individual and the community dominated the early life of poet Seamus Heaney who grew up in the ethnically torn Northern Ireland countryside.

Heaney, 71, came from a place where he and his family “still plowed with horses, lit the fire in the morning, carried water from wells.”

“In very quick time all that changed," Heaney said.

Rapid industrialization in the 1950s pushed his family to a more urban lifestyle.

Soon afterward, Heaney went to college and began writing “to make sense of a life in that time...