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Death of a Naturalist - Heaney

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  • Essay length: 1158 words
  • Submitted: 15/08/2003
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AS and A Level Seamus Heaney

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This poem is a fertile mixture of imagery, sounds and an impression created by nature on a person's mind. Heaney sensualises an outstanding feel of the physical wonders of nature. As he wanders along the pathways of salient discovery, Heaney's imagination bursts into life. This poem is actually very ironic, in its whole, as Heaney effectively carves a mountain out of a molehill of the episode about the frogs, a product of his enticing figments.

In the first section of 'Death of a Naturalist', the child is entuned with the nature around him and vivid images of him revelling in the sensual pleasures of life are abundant. Bubbles 'gargling' on stagnant water and the 'warm thick slobber' of frogspawn fascinated him. The imagery here indicates that Heaney feels pride in being able to be so close-up to nature and his immersion with nature, without, in anyway, being fastidious about it. Heaney is at this stage of life, innocent and gullible. He imagines the opposing impulses of the bluebottles, which weave a 'strong gauze of sound around the smell' (in connection with the delicacy of the bubbles). The omnipresence of the sounds, smell and thoughts (???) typifies a powerful imagination

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