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An analysis of "Follower" by Seamus Heaney

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An analysis of "Follower" by Seamus Heaney "Follower" is a poem which relates back to Seamus Heaney's past memories which he had experienced when he was at a younger age, they are memories of him and his father and their relationship. From the poem we can interpret that he was brought up on a potato farm and in many of his other poems he relates to this, this suggests that perhaps he enjoyed farming or perhaps he is expressing the family's traditions. "Follower" is a poem which strongly relates to Heaney's past life. The poem also suggests the theme of growth, at the beginning of the poem he is a young boy, who looks up to his father. However, by the end of the poem it is his father who needs help from his son. ...read more.


There are about five sets of imagery in the poem, often the imagery in 'Follower' is based on the appearance of his father. For example in the first stanza on the second line he has written: 'His shoulders globed like a full sail strung Between the shafts and the furrow' This means that his father looks like a full sail strung from far because perhaps his shirt is being blown by the wind making him have the appearance of a full sail strung between the shafts and the furrow. This is also quite a magnificent piece of imagery as the sail of a ship is very important to the rest of the ship and is very magnificent, which is what Seamus Heaney is trying to tell us, as a child his father was magnificent and incredibly important to him. ...read more.


The lines are mainly made up of eight or nine syllables but each stanza has got its own pattern in how these syllables are arranged. Therefore the metre of the poem is more or less iambic in tetrameters, which have four poetic feet which means they have eight syllables to each line. In my opinion the rhyme in the first verse is not as obvious as the rhyme in the last verse, I think htta Seamus Heaney would have made the last rhyme more obvious to bring out a significant point both in the poem and in his own life. The concluding line I believe is the most powerful like in a lot of Heaney's poems. It's his father who stumbles now which can be interpreted as the stumbling of death and when Heaney writes that his father 'will not go away' this can be interpreted that his father will always remain in his heart. Emma Harvey 1 26.02.2003 ...read more.

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