• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What is the importance of the land in Twentieth Century Irish Poetry?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What is the importance of the land in Twentieth Century Irish Poetry? Land in the Twentieth Century was very important to the Irish nation, and this is portrayed through the works of certain pieces of poetry, written by native countrymen Thomas Kinsella and Seamus Heaney. The poem 'Wormwood' is expressed by Thomas Kinsella in a powerful and descriptive manner where the reader can experience the deepest thoughts of the writer, in his or her own way. The reader feels a sense of involvement as Kinsella sets the scene in the dank woods: "In a thicket, among wet trees, stunned, minutely Shuddering, hearing a wooden echo escape." Kinsella informs us of a tree, which he is in fact bewildered by. How he has never come across a tree like this before. It has a certain grace and elegance due to its individuality. The sheer size of the tree he finds mesmerizing, and describing the slenderness of how the tree appears to the naked eye: ...read more.

Middle

Although the two parts are joined together, they attitudes are very dissimilar. As the IRA intervene, and cause even more controversy the country's become even more separated, (the trees being separated by the axe). "Between my finger and thumb The squat pen rests; snug as a gun." This quotation refers to Seamus Heaney's poem, 'Digging'. It immediately refers to Heaney's poetical setup, but when it refers to being snug as a gun. Maybe he is letting us in to the secrets of his country and how crime and violence around the time of his work was a focal point among the citizens of Ireland. The descriptive nature of his poem brings the reader close to the poem in a sense of involvement. This is similar to Kinsella's poem which was referred to earlier. He is very proud of his family and his family's predecessors. ...read more.

Conclusion

He is not the write man for the job. This was not a regular scenario in the Twentieth Century, as farmers usually passed down their land to the next generation in their family: "But I've no spade to follow men like them" He then exclaims that he still has a love for farming, but not in the physical way. He wants to write about the importance of the land to the Irish people, and how this will make a change as this will be his way of farming: "Between my finger and my thumb The squat pen rests. I'll dig with it." As we have seen from both these poems, land is a very important part of life to the Irish nation. Although the land is the focal point in the poems, when looked at in a deeper meaning twentieth century life in Ireland shines through the surface of the poem. The graphical images conveyed through these poems give us a sense of involvement and in these cases bring us closer to the poem. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Seamus Heaney section.

Found what you're looking for?

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

Here's what a star student thought of this essay

4 star(s)

Response to the question

This essay response is directed a question which asks candidate to consider the importance of agriculture to Ireland in the Twentieth Century. The candidate makes a very focused response and covers a range of detail in the poems, though, for ...

Read full review

Response to the question

This essay response is directed a question which asks candidate to consider the importance of agriculture to Ireland in the Twentieth Century. The candidate makes a very focused response and covers a range of detail in the poems, though, for an A Level response, I would argue there is not enough. A lot of topics are covered, but not in sufficient depth. There is evidence of knowledge of both plays but there appears to be a problem in linking the poetic devices and techniques used by Kinsella and Heaney to the proposed question until the last paragraph. This is not a bad thing, but it limits the focus on the question as it does not become explicit that the candidate is consistently focusing on the question.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis is fair, but their is not quite enough to gain much higher than high C grade for GCSE. Every comment made is valid, but the simple thing that'll improve this answer is if the candidate just gave more. There is a good understanding of metaphorical themes used in 'Wormwood', with the candidate citing the IRA representing the "iron blade". What could be commented further on though, is how the word is severed apart by a man-made object - what does this say about the representation of nature and Ireland before the inclusion of the IRA's weaponry? What can be said by the fact that the poem is only about a dream? What about the fact that the blade does not appear until the very end of the poem? Does this say anything about the closeness of unity before the IRA stood for independence? This is the level of analysis that should be seen in an A Level answer, observing how the structure and language create images both metaphorical and literal in the readers' heads.
The analysis of 'Digging' is slightly unconvincing at first. It would be good for candidates to note that it is not a good idea to propose a question to the examiners unless you intend to answer it shortly afterwards or at some times during the essay; candidates are meant to be answering the examiners' question and so rhetoric might be good in creative writing tasks, but certainly not for analytical writing.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication, for the most-part, is as should be expected of an A Level candidate. There is a good adherence to English standards although it would be best if candidates avoided colloquialisms such as "letting us in to the secrets". A better phrase might be "creating an implicit link with" or simply "revealing".


Did you find this review helpful? Join our team of reviewers and help other students learn

Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 06/04/2012

Read less
Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Seamus Heaney essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Analyse how Seamus Heaney uses language to convey his childhood experiences to the reader ...

    3 star(s)

    This is a contrast to "Blackberry Picking" as the poet chooses the word "tinkling" this seems to be a much more pleasant word it recreates the metallic sound of the unripe berries hitting the bottom of the tin. In "Death of a Naturalist" the poet also uses another example of

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

    There has been such an influx of bad news that it has almost become monotonous. Heaney is showing how peoples lives have become so morose from the conflict. Heaney continues with the feelings of bitterness towards the media, they are said to, "sniff and point...

  1. Analysis Of Bog Queen

    is his native country, however it has its problems, such as conflict, which needs to be addressed. Also, it can also show the idea that certain parties are blind to everything that is going on around them, how there has been conflict and history is just repeating itself, as her

  2. 'From our study in the "Clearances" collection, what is revealed about Seamus Heaney and ...

    We gain knowledge from the sonnet that she is slightly more knowledgeable than she decides to show, 'well-adjusted vocabulary'. The result of her choice here illuminates the close bond between her and Heaney, as Heaney shows respect towards her by 'governed my tongue in front of her'.

  1. Most, if not all, of Heaney's poems in 'Wintering Out' describe Heaney's uncertainty towards ...

    And in some respects, we can feel the pain. When somebody runs their nails down a black board, most people feel a cold shiver. Similarly, when Heaney talks about the - Tell-tale skin and teeth flecking the sleepers.... we feel a shiver, picturing a body scraping along metal railway lines,

  2. Seamus Heaney.

    personal and cultural memory, made present by the depths of the wells of his childhood. Now, as a man, he is too mature to scramble about on hands and knees, looking into the deep places of the earth, but he has his poetry.

  1. Describe the qualities in the young Beowulf and later in Wiglaf, that make them ...

    The importance of reputation is closely linked with that of lineage, few characters are described without reference to their fathers or their ancestors, when Beowulf introduces himself to Hrothgar he says 'I am Hygelac's kinsman'. In order that he may be permitted to enter Hrothgar's kingdom and embark upon the

  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.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work