This study will enable readers to gain clearer understanding of the life and major works of Seamus Heaney. It considers literary influences on Heaney, ranging from English poets such as Wordsworth, Hughes, and Auden to Irish poets such as Kavanagh and Yeats to world poets such as Virgil and Dante. It shows how Heaney was closely attuned to poetry's impact on daily life and current events even as he articulated a convincing apologia for poetry's own life and integrity. Discussing Heaney's deep immersion in Irish Catholicism, this book demonstrates how faith influenced his belief system, poetry and politics. Finally, it also considers how deeply Heaney's artistic endeavours were intertwined with politics in Northern Ireland, especially through his embrace of constitutional nationalism but rejection of physical force republicanism.