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Commentary on Seamus Heaney's "Scaffolding".

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Introduction

Mrs. Guezalova English IB 11 Commentary on Seamus Heaney's "Scaffolding" Jennifer Wang Block C Feb. 5, 2004 Seamus Heaney's "Scaffolding" is a simple yet dense poem. The poem uses metaphor to suggest that relationships are not naturally exist but are built over a period of time. Once this relationship has formed its shape, the endurance of such can be reached at eternity. With a determined, confident and very inspirational tone, Heaney emphasizes the importance of trust between the two people through five neat couplets with rhyme. "Masons" in the very first line of the poem is a metaphor suggesting the two people who share the same interests that are determined to establish a friendship.

Middle

"Make sure that the planks won't slip at busy points" can be interpreted as when mutual difficulties arise, the two people would join together to solve the problems and the relationship won't fall from it. "Ladders" represents the essential stages to reach the height of the relationship and to "tighten bolted joints" refers to the building of trust in each other. In the next line, "And yet all this comes down when the job is done/ Showing off the walls of sure stone" shows that the solid structure of friendship remains after the scaffolding is gone.

Conclusion

After explaining the essence of the relationship building, Heaney uses the last two couplets to encourage his loved one to be brave and to have trust in this solid relationship. "Old bridges breaking between you and me" symbolizes misunderstanding and conflicts in the relationship. However, "Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall/ Confident that we have built our wall" is the conclusion to the problems, that Heaney believes any misunderstanding will be cleared up and all the conflicts will be withstand with the solid foundation of the relationship. The writer intentionally put "never fear" followed by a period in the beginning of the last couplet, which effectively catches the reader's attention directly to the theme of the poem, encouraging the reader to value the long term relationship and cherish it with whole heart.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

A well-structured essay which explores the theme of friendship in Heaney's poem very well. It stays firmly focused on what the essay demands throughout.

The quotations and examples used in order to support the points made are appropriate. There is good reference to audience response although this could be developed further. There is very good reference to the poem's structure and how it complements the theme. Again this could be developed further as well as the historical and cultural context to the poem.

Linguistic features are referred to in detail and linked firmly to purpose. Some ideas need to be expressed more clearly in order to aid the quality of communication. There is also a need to proof-read and to make some corrections.

***

Marked by teacher Stephen Evans 01/05/2013

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