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Compare the ways in which Heaney and Sheers write about memories. Your response must include detailed discussion of at least two of Heaneys poems

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Compare the ways in which Heaney and Sheers write about memories. Your response must include detailed discussion of at least two of Heaney's poems Memories, for both Heaney and Sheers, stimulate the writing of their poetry and act as a foundation for many of their poems. Both Heaney and Sheers' poetry contains a deep love of, and feeling for the landscape. Sheers said himself; "You can't separate landscape from people. They're completely imbricated." For example Heaney's poem "Digging" is set in the fields of Ireland when his father is "stooping in rhythm through potato drills". Often a certain sight, smell or sound can evoke memories. For Heaney it is the "clean rasping sound" that awakens the image of his father working in the fields, taking him back to his childhood. Heaney uses an extensive range of onomatopoeic words such as "sloppily", "squelch" and "slap" which allow the poet's memory to come alive for the reader. For example when Heaney hears the sound of the spade digging he lets the reader hear it too by using the word "rasping". ...read more.


Heaney uses rich language such as "glossy", "sweet" and "thickened wine" to awaken our senses and draw the reader into the imagery of the poem. The pace in lines three and four is very slow because Heaney uses lots of commas to force the reader to takes more pauses; "at first, just one, a glossy purple clot". This mirrors the anticipation, a child would experience when waiting to go picking. The pace of the poem then quickens when the poet states; "summers blood was in it leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for picking", because there is less punctuation, forcing to read with fewer pauses. The increase in pace reflects the insuppressible desire and innocent excitement that draws children into succumbing to temptation. I believe there is a focus on how they are so caught up in the excitement of the experience that they are actually accelerating its end - by picking off the berries from the bush; however humans always fail to learn this lesson. Sometimes sinful experiences can be fulfilling in the moment, but every time, there are consequences. ...read more.


Therefore, "Hedge School" is a memory that on the surface seems to bear most relevance to Heaney's "Blackberry Picking". However Heaney's memory of "Blackberry Picking" taught him about temptation and sin whereas "Hedge School" is a memory that Sheers likens to the development of his poetry. Sheers' poem is actually more similar to poems like "Personal Helicon" in the way he describes his own craft and the development of his poetry. So, in fact, both poets have used memories to describe how their poetry has progressed and developed. Overall neither poet romanticizes; the poems are formed from direct involvement rather than an observation, which allows the poems to come alive in the reader's imagination, and combined with the lush description, creates a very vivid impression. Both poets plunge the reader into their childhood memories which provide us with a unique insight into what drives their poetic vision. These memories provide a familiar foundation for the reader to relate to, which they can then use to coax the reader into exploring the deeper, more profound themes of their poems. ...read more.

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