Heaney explains how he has worked out the conflict between art and life.

David Hanly asks Heaney to explain how he has worked out the conflict between art and life. The poet talks about how the conflict is worked up and out, from the artistic gropings of youth to eventually internalising the disciplines of art.

Hanly points out that otherworldliness and even irresponsibility is encouraged and demanded of the poet, but that Heaney himself seems to be a practical person. Heaney says he is because he was born into a sceptical and exacting milieu, both qualities he approves is. He is devoted to the usual as well as the otherness in his work.