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"I rhyme to see myself to set the darknessechoing" (Personal Helicon)

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"I rhyme to see myself to set the darkness echoing" (Personal Helicon) Seamus Heaney's depicts his past in an autobiographical way, and he attempts to preserve the traditions from the past through his poetry. He feels a great sense of guilt, because he doesn't carry out the traditions and crafts of his father and ancestors. The family that he grew up in is drifting, so as he aspires to continue the traditions of his ancestors, he is inspired by other craftsmen to create his poems about the dying traditions. He respects not only his grandfather and father's skilled hands in "digging", but he also has great respect and admiration for artisans' skills, which is dying out whether he be a "Thatcher" or a "blacksmith". ...read more.


But Heaney says in how "snug" the "squat pen rests", and how he can't be a "Follower" because he was "a nuisance", and always "stumbled in his hob-nailed wake". Everyday workmen like a blacksmith, whom we would find very ordinary, Heaney describes "The Forge" as harmonious, and his anvil as his "alter" and "unicorn", saying that it's the centre of his crafts and his mythical archetype will soon become extinct (of which they will). Blacksmiths obtain a particular skill, which not many people can easily do without practise. In "Follower", "The horses strained" because Heaney's father was "clicking his tongue" for the horses to arrive. Heaney tries to express the feeling, that it's such a unique fundamental skill. ...read more.


and sometimes fell" Heaney feels he is isolated from the rest of his family and other rural workers. This is displayed in "The Forge". The first lines are: "All I know is a door into the dark." The dark is illustrating the occupations unknown to him. He shows in "Digging" how he never will live up to his ancestors ".... I've no spade to follow men like them." He also shows in Heaney uses many ways of language to express his feelings. For example, "The Forge" is a sonnet. In this he uses onomatopoeia, "hiss" and alliteration ".... sparks or hiss". He creates a vivid effect using these language techniques in all of his poems. Equally does he create a vibrant effect by using Caesuras, interjections, similes and metaphors, which bring our attention to the certain words, to protrude his points and make his poems so dissimilar. 21/01/2003 Xavier H Keenan 148 5C Seamus Heaney ...read more.

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