Seamus Heaney’s first collection of prose, published in 1980, begins with a vivid account of his early years on the family farm, and his coming of age as a student and teacher in Belfast. Subsequent essays include critical work on many of the poets who profoundly influenced his own work, such as Gerard Manley Hopkins, Wordsworth, and WB Yeats, as well as his closer contemporaries Patrick Kavanagh, Robert Lowell and Ted Hughes.