Following our sell-out fundraising event on Sunday 27th January, Seamus Heaney and Simon Armitage discussed their poetic ‘inspirations’ with James Naughtie on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
Seamus Heaney remembered how he felt when he first discovered poetry
“It was the voltage of the language, it was entrancing,” he said.
Author Simon Armitage added: “I knew I wanted to exist in a world of poetry, but I didn’t want to write it [to begin with], I just wanted to read it.
“All I knew was that it felt like a marginal activity, and that it was the place I felt I could be strong and happy, in those margins.”
With regard to teaching poetry in schools, Armitage said: “Learning poetry is a good idea as long as it doesn’t turn into elocution lessons. It’s about giving students poems which excite them, and don’t embarrass or humiliate them because they can’t find a way into the language.”