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His first collection of poems "Death of a naturalist" was published in 1966 and deals with childhood and experience of life on his fathers farm, in particular Digging and Follower; which focus on

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Seamus Heaney Seamus Heaney was born April 1939, the eldest member of a family containing nine children. His father lived and worked on a farm of fifty acres in Northern Ireland which was economically less prosperous than Britain, and his father's real commitment was to cattle dealing. Seamus grew up as a country boy; his poems first came to public attention in the mid-1960s when he was active as one of a group of poets who were subsequently recognized as constituting something of a "Northern School" within Irish writing and at the time having to deal with the war and troubles of Northern Ireland. His first collection of poems "Death of a naturalist" was published in 1966 and deals with childhood and experience of life on his fathers farm, in particular Digging and Follower; which focus on his relationship with his father and how he feels as he matures. By the time he reaches maturity his view and attitude towards his father has been changed. He started off admiring his father and liking farming whereas now he realises as a poet, he cannot follow in his father's footsteps. Primarily Digging and Follower are both concerned with Heaney's relationship with his father and both conclude with the idea that this has changed yet both however express Seamus's admiration for the skill of his father. Other poems involved into this collection consist of Blackberry picking which describes also some of his childhood memories, particularly about discovering disappointment and that things don't always last therefore developing an awareness of mortality, this poem celebrates on of the rituals of country life. ...read more.


Heaney does not use this term only once he also approaches ambivalence in the forth verse quote "The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft." Course represents a rough and rigid texture whereas nestled gives the sense of lightness and delicacy, showing affection through the coarseness. Maybe suggesting he's uncertain or indecisive. Also shows that the time is present and the reader is as if they were reading his thoughts. In digging you can notice the tension, and that he may feel uneasy about some decisions in life. Yet he still boasts about and has a sense of pride about his grandfather. This has been shown "My grandfather cut more turf in a day, than any other man in Toners bog." The language is simple and direct. Heaney is constantly finding ways to compare himself to his forefathers. "Corked sloppily with paper." This reference back to his childhood is one of the most powerful in the poem. The use of the word sloppily illustrates his inability to work on the farm. In verse two Heaney expresses the notion of him being above his father, and looking down onto him digging, "My father, digging. I look down." this therefore becomes symbolic that they are apart as if they don't think the same. Heaney may feel superior to his father and not in the same world. To him his father could be symbolised as nature in the outdoors and natural on the land whereas he may see himself as indoors and surrounded by a man made world, this shows maybe a wall of independence divides them. ...read more.


He is controversial within this by using the words "wet" and "shone". Wet emphasizes darkness, dreary and damp mainly associated with the winter season and rain, whereas "shone" emphasizes happy, bright and the sun, mainly associated with summer and sunshine. These two words suggest his immaturity in never being able to make up his mind. Another thing of Seamus's use of language was expressing his sadness and disappointment to the sad news, he uses words which make the reader feel small and trapped into his mind making you feel sorry for him this is shown in stanza four "Suddenly frightened, for days I sadly hung." This makes the reader quiet and almost intimidated by his emotions, feeling sorry for him but also embarrassed because maybe it would have been seen as rather over the top. Another example of a use of his language in stanza five is when he expresses anger and distigtive fears of objects in his life, he uses words to make you feel involved and unstoppable to listen on, because the audience know if they weren't to carry on all would be left on a cliff hanger. From this extract "Until I forgot them. But the fear came back when Dan trapped the big rats." It is building up suspension slowly and takes you into a mind of his childhood and erupts you with self fear and cold blood rushes around the body. His language is emotional, intriguing the audience with his imagination. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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