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

How is Seamus Heaney's Irish Rural Heritage Reflected In his Poetry.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How is Seamus Heaney's Irish Rural Heritage Reflected In his Poetry. Seamus Heaney was born and grew up in the Irish countryside on his fathers' farm. His father was still using the traditional farming methods, which had been handed down for generations, even though technology had developed greatly in the early twentieth century. Heaney learns a lot from his father about farming and how generations of his family have done it. Heaney takes a great interest in it and he admires his father's skill in working the horses. These memories give Heaney a great deal to write about. The poems that I am going to study are 'Digging', 'Follower', 'At a Potato Digging' and 'Death of a Naturalist'. Heaney's memories and thoughts from childhood are conveyed in these poems. Heaney uses his childhood memories to form the basis of the poems that I am studying. He also refers to the men before him and how they have all dug. ...read more.

Middle

"By God, the old man could handle a spade." This shows how Heaney looked up to his father. Heaney also mentions how his grandfather was a great digger too. "My grandfather cut more turf in a day." This poem is showing how digging has been done for generations in Heaney's family. But Heaney couldn't dig like them. "But I've no spade to follow men like them." He feels like he is a disappointment to his father and family, and he feels disappointment in himself too. Heaney still does dig though, but in a different way. He digs with words. 'Follower' is similar to 'Digging' in a lot of ways because Heaney is again using childhood memories to show the admiration for his father. Heaney describes, with some admiration, his father's skill in working the horse-drawn plough. "The sod rolled over without breaking." This shows how he remembers his father's expertise in ploughing. ...read more.

Conclusion

They are used to show his love for nature and wildlife. Heaney doesn't mention his heritage in this poem, instead he is focusing on his rural background and how he was brought up in the Irish countryside and on a farm. 'Digging' and 'Follower' do show how his background was rural but they are not using that as there main focus point. 'Death of a Naturalist' is about the end of his love for nature and the end of him being a naturalist. Heaney uses lots of nature-related words such as: "Flax-dam." "Sods." The use of these words show how he was brought up in a rural background. This poem is written in quiet a childish way. We can tell this from the language he uses, as the words are descriptive but childish. "Bubbles gargled delicately." The word gargled is a childish word but it is very effective in this poem and really makes the reader hear the sound and see the bubbles 'gargling'. The language in lines 16-19 represent the childish way the teacher spoke to the class. Rebecca Beddows 10 O 1 01/05/2007 ...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 Seamus Heaney 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 Seamus Heaney essays

  1. GCSE English Seamus Heaney - 'At a Potato Digging', 'Follower', 'Death ...

    The poem is a very personal one that sees the narrator looking back to an event from their childhood and attempting to make sense of this. Poem is descriptive in nature and there is a focus on small details in order to evoke the various stages.

  2. Seamus Heaney had a Roman Catholic upbringing in a rural area of Northern Ireland. ...

    The title itself means nothing between heaven and hell. It implies that there was an illegitimate birth where the baby will not go to either heaven or hell. In medieval times the person who dies without being baptized would remain in limbo. The baby is described to be like the fish because it is pulled out "along with the salmon".

  1. At A Potato Digging

    The second section looks more closely at the potato, and the third is an account of the great Potato Famine of 1845-1850. At the end of the third section, Heaney likens this to the sharp beaks of birds snipping at people's guts.

  2. Compare the ways in which Pat Barker and Seamus Heaney use language as a ...

    In the same way as 'Death of a Naturalist,' the tone changes in the second stanza. Childish diction is discarded for a reflective tone. The ripened berries rot, signifying that Heaney has lost his juvenile innocence. 'Blackberry-Picking' ends harshly- the hope, joy and excitement from the first stanza now becomes

  1. culture and the heritage in heaney

    "The Tollund Man" is divided into three sections. These sections are the troubles that are happening, a section that is modern and a section that is ancient. There are five stanzas in the first section. The second stanza contains three and the third one does, too.

  2. Post 1914 poetry. Other cultures- poetry of Seamus Heaney.

    Here he is talking about his father. This is successful as you start to understand Heaney, you can begin to relate to him more and become more interested in the poem. Heaney uses multiple alliterations writing 'tall tops' and 'curt cuts.' The sound of the curt cuts is conveyed to the reader.

  1. Compare and contrast the way Seamus Heaney and D.H Lawrence depict childhood feelings and ...

    However, it is clear that this is not all he felt. The events and the outcome are slowly revealed, implying that Seamus took a long time to come to terms with this. Although there were a few clues that something really bad had happened; such as the fact his 'neighbours

  2. His first collection of poems "Death of a naturalist" was published in 1966 and ...

    In Digging Heaney does feel a bit guilty as he knows digging isn't for him as shown "I've no spade to follow men like them / between my finger and thumb the squat pen rests." Squat suggesting, shortness, thick and dumpy therefore maybe difficult to use, therefore suggesting the pen

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