"His is "close-up" poetry - close up to thought, to the world, to the emotions. Few writers at work today, in verse or fiction, can give the sense of rich, fecund, lived life that Heaney does". (John Banville). "More than any other poet since Wordsworth he can make us understand that the outside world is not outside, but what we are made of". (John Carey). "Heaney's voice, by turns mythological and journalistic, rural and sophisticated, reminiscent and impatient, stern and yielding, curt and expansive, is one of a suppleness almost equal to consciousness itself". (Helen Vendler).