Is history the only means Heaney writes about the present?Is writing about the past the only way Heaney writes about present social issues?

Expert Answers
stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Absolutely not.  What Heaney strives to do in his writing is to present heartfelt portrayals of the Ireland he knows and loves and the context in which it exists. Because history and past events have been so central to the shaping of much of the Irish experience, the influence of those events is often present. His writings can and do deal with present-day issues and concerns, including how those concerns are impacted by the history behind them.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
The past always has an influence on the present. Making connections between the present and the past allows us to understand intricate situations. Ireland is a country deeply affected by its heritage, and unfortunately that has often been a heritage of pain and suffering.
mjay25 | Student

I would now say that history is not the only way Heaney talks about and links the present, but also autobiography (his personal history) and mythology. He often uses many Norse mythological figures.