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Explore Seamus Heaney's portrayal of pain and suffering.

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Explore Seamus Heaney's portrayal of pain and suffering. Heaney, born 1939 was one of the nine children of Margaret and Patrick Heaney who ran a family farm in Mossbawn, Northern Ireland. Heaney enrolled at Queen's College in 1957 after attending his local town school and opting not to follow in his fathers success of being a farmer. He took up a position as a lecturer at St. Joseph's College, Belfast 1963! He then went on to acheive a scholarship in English Language and Literature, also devoting spare time to a poetry group. His success in impressing fellow poets, subsequently lead to his poetry being sent to England for publishing in 1964. The following year, Heaney became married to Marie Delvin, who gave him his first son Michael. Later, in 1965, 'Faber and Faber' published "Death of a Naturalist" which earned Heaney such awards as the E.C Gregory Award and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize! Mid-Term Break " I sat all morning in the college sick bay". My first impressions of this poem was that it was somehow related to a school atmosphere. In seven brief stanzas, Heaney write about his younger brother's death, and how he was taken from school to go to a mourning service. " A four foot box, a foot for every year", indicates that the diceased was only an infant! ...read more.


Its like Dan Taggart has complete control over the kittens' lives and he is deciding to throw them away " He sluiced them out on the dung hill, glossy and dead." To me, and probably people of a similar society would label this as a cruelty to animals act, but as Heaney says "On well run farms pests have to be kept down". This supposedly implies that most farmers in the same civiliasation act on the reduction of any small animals, which will prevent the ruining of their farms. "I just shrug "bloody pups". This line is towards the end of the poem. Heaney must have become so indulged in this farming proceedure that he came to agree that the of disposing of 'pests' was a frequent 'had to be done' task. Personally, I cannot understand how he can adapt to such an attitude, and in the last two stanzas he writes about the animals in the same way Dan Taggart would. Dan, being that much older than Heaney at the time, holds Heaney under the influence that this is the correct thing to do. "Sure isn't it better for them now?" Here Dan is slightly persuasive when he attempts to change Heaney's opinion about his actions with the kittens. This poem holds a structure of how Heaney changes his mind about the deaths of these pests. ...read more.


I presume she committed suicide, too distraught to go on. Also, "Even Christs palms, unhealed, smart and cannot fish there. Unchristened tears..." is in somehow related to religious beliefs. The poor unloved infant was in the end too illegitimate and of course had not been baptised. This means that not even Jesus can save him, as he is even non-existant in God's world! 'Limbo', being a parallel to pergatory is an ideal title for this poem. It declares that the child belongs nowhere; it has no place or purpose. The child is a non-baptised, unknown nothing and therefor goes to Limbo. As in all three of my focused poems, there has been a sad mood. I thought they were related in topic quite well, as all of them described the ending of life. 'Mid-Term Break' is all about the end of a child's life, 'Early Purges' sees the end of life for small creatures, and 'Limbo' I find special. I see 'Limbo' as the end of life for both a child and a creature. When the child was born in 'Limbo', it could have seen a chance in life, but as it was unbaptised and put to death without choice, the child became worthless, even more so than the fish it was amongst. Heaney can create an amazing effect on his reader by describing each experience of his life with such impression! The poetry he produces is of a unique quality and he goes into great depth with his words, encouraging an impact on his reader. ...read more.

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