Heaney’s prose constitutes an important part of his work. Heaney often used prose to address concerns taken up obliquely in his poetry. In The Redress of Poetry (1995),according to James Longenbach in the Nation, "Heaney wants to think of poetry not only as something that intervenes in the world, redressing or correcting imbalances, but also as something that must be redressed—re-established, celebrated as itself."
Heaney’s belief in the power of art and poetry, regardless of technological change or economic collapse, offers hope in the face of an increasingly uncertain future. Asked about the value of poetry in times of crisis, Heaney answered it is precisely at such moments that people realize they need more to live than economics: “If poetry and the arts do anything,” he said, “they can fortify your inner life, your inwardness."