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

Compate and Contrast theway Seamus Heaney and DH Lawrence depict their childhood memories in their poetry

Extracts from this document...


Compare and contrast the way Seamus Heaney and D.H. Lawrence depict childhood memories in their poetry Seamus Heaney's childhood is reflected in his poetry. He was born in 1939 (the beginning of the first World War) as the eldest of nine children, in the County Derry, in Ireland, where he grew up in the countryside, on the 50 acre farm his dad owned. These early memories of farm life gave Heaney much to write about in his poetry, so Heaney returns to his childhood memories for many of his poems. In his poetry, Heaney explores many themes. The two poems, by Heaney, I am going to discuss, explore the theme's death, and getting to terms with life's afflictions. D.H. Lawrence had a very different childhood, also reflected in his work. He was born in 1885, in a town called Eastwood in Nottinghamshire. He was the fourth son of a coal miner, who was working class. His mother, however, was of a superior class to his father, as she was a school teacher. This difference in class had a big influence on his writing. His writing is often negative, as his parents argued a lot when he was young, which is not something all children experience. As a result, Lawrence grew close to and protective of his mother. The first poem I am going to discuss is 'Blackberry Picking' by Seamus Heaney. The poem describes the young Heaney picking blackberry's in the summer. ...read more.


This innocence and child like language is used throughout the poem, especially when it seems the child is quoting his teacher when he says, 'Miss Walls would tell us how The daddy frog was called a bullfrog, And how he croaked. And how the mammy frog Laid hundreds of little eggs and this was frogspawn.' This portrays a child's excitement. The change of tone is marked by the word 'Then', as this tells us there is a negative change. A child's innocence is portrayed, when the little tadpoles turn into 'angry frogs'. The sounds are a contrast of those in the first section, in that they have become loud and angry. It is a first time experience, 'I ducked through hedges To a coarse croaking that I had not heard Before', which is amusing to the reader as it violates a child's innocence. The frogs were placed randomly, 'gross-bellied frogs were cocked On sods', and the word 'cocked' makes them seem arrogant and fierce towards a young child. Child-like onomatopoeia is used to describe the frogs, 'The slap and plop were obscene threats'. Heaney's use of imagery makes the frogs sound like soldiers in a war, 'Some sat Poised like mud grenades'. The last line, 'and I knew That if I dipped my hand the spawn would clutch it.', shows us the child is no longer excited about nature, as he is no longer calling it frogspawn. He is forced to believe tadpoles do not stay nimble. ...read more.


This poem, like 'Discord in Childhood', also describes an evening at home, however it is very different, 'the heart of me weeps to belong To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside And the hymns in the cosy parlour, the tinkling piano our guide.' The word 'our' makes it sound as though there was no one but him and his mother. 'The great black piano appassionato', makes the piano sound dominant, which emphasises how small the child is. The last line of the poem is when Lawrence breaks down into tears, 'my manhood is cast Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past.' He feels like a child, weak. In conclusion, Heaney's childhood was more like any other child's, and his poetry reflects this. He had to come to terms with life, just as any child would, as in 'Blackberry Picking' where Heaney had to accept that blackberries do not last for a long time and in 'Death of a Naturalist' where he had to come to terms with tadpoles not staying nimble for ever. He grew up on a farm so a lot of his writing is about nature, like 'Blackberry Picking' and 'Death of a Naturalist'. D.H. Lawrence, on the other hand, had a very contrasting childhood compared to Heaney. The fact that his parents argued a lot when he was in his youth meant that he grew protective of his mother, so 'Piano' was written about her. 'Discord in Childhood' is different, in that it showed a different perspective of his life. It describes the abuse in a destructive manner, and the language used makes the poem effective. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous section.

Found what you're looking for?

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

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 GCSE Miscellaneous essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Compare and contrast the presentation of childhood memories in half past two, piano and ...

    4 star(s)

    This then changes in stanza 2 as Lawrence starts to write about the past and in stanza 3, Lawrence starts to talk about his regret. 'My parents kept me from children who were rough' is similar to 'piano' as in stanza 3 he also talks about regret.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Compare and contrast the ways in which war is presented in 'The Charge Of ...

    4 star(s)

    Although the poem is in the past tense, there is a real sense of action and drama, which is reinforced by the direct speech in the first and second stanzas and the exclamation. The idea of the soldiers going into the 'valley of death' also suggests to the reader that

  1. Seamus Heaney poetry comparison

    Therefore, in this poem, the theme of heritage and family traditions is most apparent. The narrator describes two relationships in the poem, one between father and son and one between grandfather and grandson. The poem describes his father's and grandfather's work, "My father, digging," and "my grandfather could cut more turf..."

  2. Analysis of Robert Browning Poetry

    By objectifying her, saying that she would "give herself" means that he would own her, furthermore, the use of "for ever" shows how much he deeply loves her and wants her for eternity. In Contrast to the speaker in "The Laboratory" , doesn't appear possessive.

  1. Childhood in poetry

    For example, one notices a sum of eleven stanzas in "Half-Past Two". Each stanza consists of three lines each. This is a consistent pattern. This may reveal that the poet's life was very organised. For further proof, the different aspects of the poet's life or day, was divided into chunks, such as "TVtime, Timetogohomenowtime..."Etc.

  2. How do Heaney and Plath present their feelings in the blackberry poems?

    blood sisterhood should be with these berries, not humans, and shows us the femininity of nature. "They must love me could be could be telling us how the blackberries show their love to her by leaving their juice on her fingers, being all that loves her maybe.

  1. The parent child relationship can have highs and lows. Compare how this is ...

    Maybe she is trying to explain her reaction to the "disinfected" and "clean" or "blank" environment, without "paintings and toys" and colouring in the white spaces.

  2. Each of the six poems has a different approach towards death. Just as people ...

    It manifests that the devotion of this particular mother surpasses that of any other mother. Achebe adds, that all the ?other mothers there had long ceased to care, but this one.? This mother was devoted to her child, she knew that his days on earth were numbered, yet she did

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