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Gifts of Rain

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Gifts of Rain Seamus Heaney's poem Gifts of Rain is divided into 4 sections. These 4 sections could symbolise the stages of life which consists of birth, childhood, adulthood and death. It could also symbolise the stages of the river in which it suggests the development of the river from it's source to where it gets strong. Or of course, it could symbolise the stages of the water cycle. Water is the symbol of life, but i can also be seen as purity, freshness or youth. In this mysterious poem, Heaney takes a simple view of life and it seems almost documentary-like. The title of the poem 'Gifts of Rain' gives it a positive feeling, but although water has it's positive aspects such as lifegiving and growth, it also has it's negative aspects, such as being dangerous or even deadly. ...read more.


The end of the section highlights the poem as "Sounding. Soundings." is what Heaney's poems are all about and more precisely, what this poem is about. "A man wading lost fields breaks the pane of flood" which starts the second section gives the effect of pain and hurt. The man survives by going along with nature and resisiting it, but it also gives the effect of danger at the same time. "Like a cut swaying" carries on the effect of being deliberate, sharp and precise and "it's red spoors" and "his hands grub" continues with the theme of the animal sort of world. The "sunken drills" give the effect of digging deep and the atlantis "he depends on" gives a hint of an insecurity of life, as if he can't live without it. There is a sense of the rain getting stronger and more persistant at the beginning of the third section as there would be "an all-night roaring of the ford" when the rains were gathering. ...read more.


"Whispering by the shore" shows that water is a symbol of continuity as it occurs in a natural cycle, but the whispering could also be the sound of the sea as it travels up the shore. The end of this section makes me feel as if he is trying to preserve something with the "river mud" and "glazing the baked clay floor". The fourth section which includes 4 stanzas of 3 lines, whereas the third section included 4 line stanzas and the second section included 2 line stanzas shows the continuity once again as if it's portraying the waters movement. Moyola is once again repeated and music is also with "its own score and consort" being musical terms and giving the effect of harmony. "A swollen river" gives off pregnancy images which could either be image of flooding which can either make the land fertile or destroy it. "A mating call of sound" once again brings in the effect of sound, but also includes sensual imagery and the "hoarder of common ground" shows that the land belongs to everybody. ...read more.

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