Contributor to books, including The Writers: A Sense of Ireland, O'Brien Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1979; Canopy: A Work for Voice and Light in Harvard Yard, Harvard University Art Museums, 1997; Healing Power: The Epic Poise—A Celebration of Ted Hughes, edited by Nick Gammage, Faber, 1999; For the Love of Ireland: A Literary Companion for Readers and Travelers, Ballantine, 2001; 101 Poems against War, edited by Matthew Hollis and Paul Keegan, Faber, 2003; and Don't Ask Me What I Mean: Poets in Their Own Words, Picador, 2003. Contributor of poetry and essays to periodicals, including New Statesman, Listener, Guardian, Times Literary Supplement, and London Review of Books. Heaney's papers and letters are collected at Emory University, Atlanta, GA.
A common justification for abuse of short term thinking is the fake perspective defense. The wise, but less confident guy says “hey are you sure we should be doing this?” And the smart, confident, but less wise guy says “of course. We did this last time, and the time before that, so why shouldn’t we do this again?” This is the fake perspective defense because there’s no reason to believe that 2 points of data (. last time plus the time before that) is sufficient to make claims about the future. People say similar things all the time in defense of the free market economy, democracy, and mating strategies. “Well, it’s gotten us this far, and it’s the best system we have”. Well, maybe. But if you were in that broken down Winnebago up to your ankles in gasoline from a leaking tank, smoking a cigarette in each hand, you could say the same thing.
A constant antistrophe to the humans’ sufferings, the dog Snoopy carries to the last metaphysical frontier the neurotic failure to adjust. Snoopy knows he is a dog: he was a dog yesterday, he is a dog today, tomorrow he will perhaps be a dog still. For him, in the optimism of the opulent society in which one moves upward from status to status, there is no hope of promotion. Sometimes he essays the extreme resource of humility (we dogs are so humble, he sighs, unctuous and consoled); he becomes tenderly attached to those who promise him respect and consideration. But as a rule he doesn’t accept himself and he tries to be what he is not: a split personality if ever there was one, he would like to be an alligator, a kangaroo, a vulture, a penguin, a snake…. He tries every avenue of mystification, then he surrenders to reality, out of laziness, hunger, sleepiness, timidity, claustrophobia (which assails him when he crawls through big grass), ignorance. He may be soothed, but never happy. He lives in a constant apartheid, and he has the psychology of the segregated; like an Uncle Tom, he has finally, faute de mieux , a devotion, an ancestral respect, for the stronger.