Heaney talks about the purpose of poetry and art in our society.

In conversation with Mike Murphy, Heaney discusses issues raised in his collection of criticism 'The Government of the Tongue' about the purpose of poetry and art in our society. Coming from a farming background, art was something he wanted to justify. As a teacher, it was also a question that came up with students, who wanted to know why they were studying the likes of Shakespeare. Heaney talks about the joy of writing and the fundamental value of poetry.