Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3

Act of Union essay

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Act of Union I To-night, a first movement, a pulse, As if the rain in bogland gathered head To slip and flood: a bog-burst, A gash breaking open the ferny bed. Your back is a firm line of eastern coast And arms and legs are thrown Beyond your gradual hills. I caress The heaving province where our past has grown. I am the tall kingdom over your shoulder That you would neither cajole nor ignore. Conquest is a lie. I grow older Conceding your half-independant shore Within whose borders now my legacy Culminates inexorably. II And I am still imperially Male, leaving you with pain, The rending process in the colony, The battering ram, the boom burst from within. The act sprouted an obsinate fifth column Whose stance is growing unilateral. His heart beneath your heart is a wardrum Mustering force. His parasitical And ignmorant little fists already Beat at your borders and I know they're cocked At me across the water.

Middle

There are many aspects to the poem. There is the geographical, human and political side of it. Our class went through the poem and highlighted in three different colours words from each of the three chosen aspects. This made it slightly easier to see beneath the poem's camouflage. After doing this it started to become more clear and people started to come up with some more relevant ideas. We slowly began to realise that the poem wasn't about what we had first thought but in fact about something completely different. To help us even more Mr Gardner, our teacher, drew us a drawing on the board. In the drawing there was a man and a women. This drawing put together all the imagery from the poem. It worked very well. For example, in the poem it says about an Eastern Coast. This turned out to be the man's back and "the man" was Britain. The woman he was standing over was Ireland.

Conclusion

This is because he has an Irish name, Seamus Heaney, and this might have given it away slightly. By not giving the name it made it a bit harder because it could have been about any country. This made it much harder for us to work out what the poem really meant. When he "revealed" the name you could hear the "ahh's" around the room. This once complicated poem seemed to become more clear and easier as time went on and more and more things got uncovered about it. So at the end Mr Gardner asked who liked the poem. Most of the class did, in fact, all the class except from one or two. In my opinion at the time I thought it was OK, but thinking about it now I really think it is very clever. It is a clever poem basically describing all Britain and Ireland's troubles in one short poem. It is very clever how it describes all these things but disguises it in a poem that you think is about human relationship. So overall it was a definite hit! Ruairidh McPherson.

The above preview is unformatted text

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • Over 150,000 essays available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Over 180,000 student essays
  • Every subject and level covered
  • Thousands of essays marked by teachers

Related AS and A Level Seamus Heaney

  1. What influence of history can be seen in Seamus Heaney's work?

    The 'mizzling rain' suggests a miserable obscured place, where it's impossible to see clearly or understand, and the 'rain' 'blurs the far end/ of the cart track' so you cannot see quite to the end.

  2. Seamus Heaney.

    Heaney's father, Patrick, died after this, and Heaney's latest collection, Seeing Things, published in 1991, contains many poems for his father. Robert Lowell has deemed Heaney "the most important Irish poet since Yeats." Critics have been largely positive about his verse, and he is undoubtedly the most popular poet writing in English today.

  1. Explore Heaney's Presentation Of The Irish Conflict In, "Whatever You Say, Say Nothing"

    of national pride, praising his land, but Eire is locked, it lacks freedom. It is a land of hidden meanings, the way that name and religion dictates whom you are. People are isolated immensely, it may seem it isn't so, but peoples supposed, "open minds" are "open as a trap",

  2. Analysis Of Bog Queen

    Her structure is the land, the Bog Queen, is Queen of Ireland. The idea that the Queen gives birth and looks after her child, Ireland is shown in the ninth stanza. The "heavy swaddle of hides", now, not only is the idea that the earth is engulfing her shown, but

  1. Free essay

    Consider Heaney's presentation of relationships in Act of Union and one other poem

    He means that Ireland always conflicts with England yet they never fully conquer Ireland. It also means that the woman in the poem doesn't love the man and he hasn't "conquered" her. However, Northern Ireland has been "conquered" by the English, "Conceding your half-independent shore Within whose borders now my

  2. Explore how Heaney writes about suffering in 'Bye-Child' and in one other poem of ...

    The 'dust' in addition shows the length of time the boy has been hiding away from the rest of the world and is evidence yet again of suffering. In the next stanza, the 'old droppings' shows the neglect the boy has endured, he has not even been trained the basic skills in life.

  1. In what ways do these two poets tell their stories so that readers will ...

    We see that there are some Catholics like "Paudeen Dhu" who are betraying the people in the village. We see that the poet used the word "creeping" which has a sense of power behind it. We also see that he "pretends his needful duty".

  2. Show how the Writer deals with the social consequences of emigration on the live ...

    Both Mary and Michael contemplate their new life in America and also what effect their leaving will have on the family. Michael is excited about moving to America; he is looking forward to the prospect of getting a job and having the sense of responsibility of being able to send money home to support his family.

  • Over 180,000 essays
    written by students
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to write
    your own great essays

Marked by a teacher

This essay has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the essay.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the essay page.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review under the essay preview on this page.