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

Poetry appreciation of 'Death of a naturalist' by Seamus Heaney

Extracts from this document...


1st of October 2004 Poetry appreciation of 'Death of a naturalist' by Seamus Heaney This poem 'Death of a Naturalist' by Seamus Heaney is about the lifecycle of frogs and a child's interest in nature. As the child grows up he looses interest in all aspects of nature. It is as if 'Death of a Naturalist' was referring to the loss of innocence of the child and the love of nature he once had died inside him. Not only that, he now has respect for nature but not necessarily disliking it; nor loving it either. The atmosphere of the first stanza is quite positive. A phrase such as 'There were dragon-flies, spotted butterflies,' suggests a happy mood and refers to pleasant memories to Heaney as a child. Diction such as the 'warm thick slobber' indicates to me the child-likeness theme of this poem. Which proves that it is from an adult's perspective looking back at his childhood. Heaney has done this by using the 'child-like' vocabulary as well as a more complex and mature tone to the poem. ...read more.


Throughout the poem Heaney makes excellent use of various imagery techniques such as metaphors and similes. An example of a powerful metaphor is 'Wove a strong gauze of sound'. This is effective because 'gauze' is something we consider as being solid and in this case hits you hard. By referring to the sound to a 'gauze' it is as if we can't get away from the sound, it surrounds you. Which I think is quite fitting for a bluebottle. Another thing is that Heaney makes use of many onomatopoeic words, which makes his style so unique. I think this poem concentrates on the sounds more than any other of the senses. For example thick 'slobber' and ' coarse croaking' which is also an example of alliteration. Also I would like to comment on the use of oxymoron. The title 'Death of a Naturalist' is one example and 'gargled delicately' another. 'gargled delicately' being my favourite because Heaney turns something considered positive (the bubbles) into something far more un-pleasant. ...read more.


My response to this poem is that I enjoyed it very much. Some aspects I enjoyed more than others. When I first read the poem I could not discover much depth in it. After thoroughly reading it my thoughts changed and I realised that the poem was not all about frogs. It was a case of reading between the lines. Heaney's overall message fascinated me and urged me to delve more into the subject of 'loss of innocence'. Which set me on a train of thought. One thing in particular that made the poem more enjoyable for myself was Heaney's flair for style. The way in which he concentrates on the onomatopoeia in the poem is very effective. As I had not previously read any other of Heaney's poems this immediately drew my attention. Another thing I liked was the images he created in my mind. One of those images were (in the second stanza); a battlefield where the child is on one side and the frogs are his opposition and the frogs are invading the land-similar to a war scenario. Therefore I would highly recommend this poet simply for Heaney's unique style of writing. ...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. Looking at the poems in Death of a Naturalist discuss how Heaney use’s language ...

    This symbolises the random of picking of the blackberries. The death-dealing fungus is personified and given a bad image (a "rat"), contaminated and disease-ridden, a punishment for one of the seven deadly sins -- gluttony. The blackberries were hoarded away, to keep them safe.

  2. A comparative study of "The Death of a naturalist" by Seamus Heaney and "The ...

    What the author is trying to say is that the boy knows its wrong but feels 'trouble pleasure'. Up to line 76 In William Wordsworth's poem, the poet feels threatened, this is because he describes the 'huge black peak'. You can tell that Wordsworth feels threatened because he used the word 'huge' more than once.

  1. Seamus Heaney - Death of A Naturalist

    He sees the reality as "cocked on sods, necks pulsed". He is horrified. The sound images created by "slap and plop" shows how disgusting he thinks it is. "Poised like mud grenades" creates more imagery. Heaney sees it as a war and a fight.

  2. Write an essay on Heaney's poetry in the light of his statement that it ...

    The collection Death of a Naturalist is an immature finding of a poetic voice, an attempt to establish a style and subject matter and a quest to establish the proper purpose and place of poetry itself. Although over-simplistic, Heaney's early poetry constitutes the tentative efforts to break out of the darkness and into the light.

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

    However, he irreverently describes it as a "gob-stopper." In 'Regeneration' there is an abundance of visceral imagery and detailed description: "He began shovelling soil, flesh and blackened bone." This is also seen through Heaney's language in 'Punishment,' '...of your brain's exposed /and darkened combs.'

  2. Compare Death of a Naturalist, Advancement of Learning and Roe Deer.

    Roe Deer is the poem told by Ted Hughes as a man, who tells it in a sort of science fiction way. The poem is all about the possibility of experiences we cannot justify in the world we live in.

  1. What are the preoccupations of Seamus Heaney’s poetry and how does he explore them?

    The sod rolled over without breaking." Here Heaney tells us of his father's expertise on the farm similar to when he is digging in Digging. Heaney uses the language to make the operation of ploughing seem very precise and by saying "the sod rolled over without breaking" it sounds like that was a very skilful think to do.

  2. The poetry of Seamus Heaney is deceptively simple. Examine this comment in the light ...

    admiration for his father and the expertise needed to farm, which is highlighted by the use of technical terms such as 'lug'. He finally concludes that his skill as a writer, a poet, is just as valued as that of a farmer and that in all likelihood his feelings of

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