I began to write poetry in Dublin when I was a teenager. It was an intimate, charged literary place back then, even for a student. When I walked out of the gates of Trinity College I relished the atmosphere in the city—grey, rainy, and self-confident. There seemed to be a broad appreciation of poetry. Many people could quote it; and they did. Somebody at night might start a poem by Yeats; someone else would finish it. Poetry permeated even casual conversation.