Heaney argues that when dealing with the situation in Northern Ireland, "people set terms that are too simple".

Heaney argues that when dealing with the situation in Northern Ireland, "people set terms that are too simple", that it is the impulses from moment to moment that you go on. From being born and growing up in Northern Ireland, he feels that he has an instinctive sense "of the velleities and dangers and the underground life of ... Protestant, Catholic in the Northern thing".