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

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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.

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