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How do the writers of four poems reveal their attitudes to nature?

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Introduction

How do the writers of four poems reveal their attitudes to nature? Many poets use poetry to convey their feelings for nature. Poets like Seamus Heaney, John Clare and Alfred Tennyson use a variety of techniques to reflect their experiences, connections and emotions in regards to the natural world. Seamus Heaney's Storm on the Island presents his feelings to nature in several different ways. The first of these is through use of emotive language. Throughout the poem, Heaney uses words like "tragic" and "savage" to connote his views of how aggressive nature is to the reader. These words of anger give the audience a sense of the rage that Heaney sees in forms of nature like the wind which he is describing and the fear that he has for it. Heaney cleverly uses this to exemplify his emotions towards nature; fear for the aggressive nature of it but also respect for its strength. This is similar to the way Alfred Tennyson uses language to show readers his attitudes to nature in The Eagle. Tennyson makes use of possessive language such as "his mountain walls" to give the eagle he's describing a sense of possession over the walls and the land. ...read more.

Middle

This is an effective method of conveying emotions to the reader as it is an oxymoron - a description that contradicts itself. Water, due to its liquid-like qualities, cannot be clotted as it does not bunch together. This simile, therefore, shows the audience the contradictory connection Heaney has to the frogspawn; it is ugly and unappealing yet attracts his attention. The use of a simile also occurs in Sonnet; John Clare similarly uses this technique to convey his emotions towards a certain object. Clare compares how "reed clumps rustle like a wind shook wood". This is a useful comparison for a couple of reasons. Firstly, this simile compares an action to a similar one on a larger scale. This hyperbolic mirroring gives the audience a sense of the enormity Clare feels about the action due to his emotional connection to this natural event. Secondly, this simile is used to add rhythm to the poem; both "reed clumps rustle" and "wind shook wood" use alliteration and assonance in a list of three to give the line a clear and catchy sound. ...read more.

Conclusion

On the other hand, this aggressive force of nature is a metaphor for the conflict Heaney witnessed as a child. He grew up in Ireland where he witnessed soldiers preparing for the Second World War and has lived through most of the troubles suffered by Ireland. This has taken a large impact on some of his poems, particularly Death of a Naturalist, which talks about the conflict he witnessed as a child. In this regard, Both Heaney and Clare use imagery in their language to reflect themes and parts of their personal life; whilst their ideas about nature conflict, their techniques for expressing emotion are relatively similar. Between the four poems, Heaney, Clare and Tennyson connect a wide variety of views of nature through various techniques. These techniques are used in an effective manor to produce a wide variety of results. Whilst Heaney tends to take a more negative view to nature compared to Clare, both use similar techniques to provide an equally effective portrait of their views of nature. Tennyson, on the other hand take a more direct route to explain the grand attitude he takes to nature. All three of these great poets use strong and effective measures to explain their attitudes to nature. ...read more.

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