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Poetry analysis

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English/English literature coursework Assignment A- Poetry analysis Q: "Poems can capture important moments in our lives." Discuss how poets have presented the loss of childhood innocence in 'Death of a Naturalist' by Seamus Heaney, 'In Mrs Tilscher's Class' by Carol Ann Duffy and 'The Evacuee' by R.S.Thomas. It is clear to all that a key part of poetry is its ability to capture significant moments in our lives. Seamus Heaney, Carol Ann Duffy and R.S. Thomas do this effectively and uniquely in their poems which I am analysing. These three poems explore, in their own way, childhood innocence. However, 'In Mrs Tilscher's Class' by Carol Ann Duffy and 'Death of a Naturalist' by Seamus Heaney view childhood innocence differently from R.S Thomas, and also focus on the loss of childhood innocence, unlike 'The Evacuee' where R.S Thomas demonstrates childhood innocence almost in reverse, where the young girl regains her innocence as the poem progresses. Despite the fact that all three poems cover the same subject, we understand that all of the children being written about are in varying situations. In R.S Thomas's 'The Evacuee', the poem is set in the rural Welsh countryside, which demonstrates the type of childhood R.S Thomas may have had. Seamus Heaney's poem also appears to be set in rural countryside. However, 'Death of a Naturalist' is set in County Derry's countryside where he grew up in the 1940s. Unlike the two other poems, Carol Ann Duffy's poem is set in an urban area. ...read more.


A great deal of Heaney's poetry can be referred back to his childhood in Derry; therefore, we assume that the young boy in the poem embodies Heaney as a child. Heaney gives the reader a colourful description using imagery of the world around him, demonstrating a childhood interest in nature. An example of his enthusiasm would be he says that the "bubbles gargled delicately". Heaney uses imagery in his language when describing the countryside around him and uses the method of personification for the flax which "sweltered", also the "punishing sun" and the image of the bubbles "gargling delicately". In his writing methods Heaney appeals to our senses when saying that the "bluebottles wove a strong gauze of sound around the smell". This makes it easier for the reader to imagine the place he is describing, because if they can imagine the sights, the sounds and the smells they will be able to create a picture of this place in their mind's eye. Heaney also puts into words boyish enthusiasm through the tone of the phrase: "best of all". There is something homely about his spawn collecting routine as he does this "every spring". All through 'Death of a Naturalist' the boy is enthusiastic, but unprofessional, as he does not use technical terminology, some examples being "the daddy frog", "mammy frog" and "the fattening dots". These phrases signify clearly how innocent the young boy is at this stage in the poem, particularly about nature. ...read more.


The countryside gives the child the chance to be innocent and untroubled again and a perfect example of this is when Thomas that her "grey eyes, rinsed with dew of their long dread". We also get a clear understanding of how the poem has developed when he uses a paradox saying that she is "home now" when she has left her family and home to get away from a horrendous environment. As the poem ends there is a significant feeling of safety which is highlighted when it says, "The men watched her, and, nodding, smiled with earth's charity, patient and strong." "The Evacuee" differs from the other two poems in that it reverses the process of childhood innocence, and it challenges the view that has been raised by the other two poems, that once you have lost your childhood innocence, you cannot regain it. To conclude, each of these poems when analysed focus on a defining point in a child's life, in Duffy's and Heaney's poems they review the loss of childhood innocence, in "The Evacuee", the renewal of childhood innocence. These three poems raise the point that every child's innocence is affected in different ways because no child has the same childhood. The definitive message that all of these poems enforce is that childhood innocence is priceless thing that every child should have. However, the loss of this precious innocence is unavoidable but it is significant in each child growing up. All in all, these three poems, without doubt, do capture important moments in all our lives, they capture our childhood innocence. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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