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

Poetry: Seamus Heaney Long Essay

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Poetry: Seamus Heaney Long Essay Poetic techniques allow experience to be represented in an intense and compressed way. The poem "The Grauballe Man", from one of Seamus Heaney's collection called New Selected Poems, contains many similes and metaphors that represents Heaney's experience in a powerful and condensed way when he first looked upon a corpse known as 'The Grauballe Man'. "The Grauballe Man", like "The Tollund Man" is another meditation on the preserved corpse of a Scandinavian victim dug up from the peat bogs. But where "The Tollund Man" was concerned to draw a parallel between an Irish present and a Danish past and to affirm something from that kinship, the emphasis in "The Grauballe Man" is different. Essentially the poem is about different ways of regarding corpses. The poem starts, unusually for Heaney, with a series of descriptions which are set up as similes and not metaphors, that is they use the devises 'as if', 'as', or 'like' to connect the thing described with the element which is used to describe. In metaphor the thing described is spoken of directly in terms of the element which is used as a comparison. It is the difference between "the grain of his wrists is like bog oak" (simile) and "his hips are the ridge and purse of a mussel" (metaphor). These really are different phases of the linking process which is description. ...read more.

Middle

The action does not promote an interaction between us and it. It is self-perfecting . Add 'seems', as Heaney does, and the action of self-creation, if indeed it takes place, is both observed from outside, and evidently produced by the observer, in so far as it is the poet as observer who draws attention to his own creation of the image. It draws our attention to the observer who said it, that is, the poet. Between these two 'like' constructions is a more certain, less subjective statement, the metaphorical "he lies / on a pillow turf", which acts in the poem to stabilise the movement and variables around it. Stability is, of course, the intended sense here. This is a nice example of a grammatical construction precisely complementing the wider sense that the statement implies. One further point should be made. We know there is a corpse here and can readily infer that it could be described directly in terms of measurement, weight, objectively accounted appearance and so on. The fact that such a description is not given, but may be inferred as a necessary base line, means that the 'as if' descriptions effectively produce a double image, an implied reality and a stated imagination understanding. The effect is to create from a single object a new, laminated reality which is of course, still a recreation of the corpse. ...read more.

Conclusion

Its interrelationships are possible only to states likes memory, dream, imagination, but its enactment can only become actual as the poem we have, different in kind therefore from the elements which construct it, but intimately related to them, because it is our deepest, most subtle access to them. The body so constructed is again a complex of opposites, "hung in the scales / with beauty and atrocity". These opposites, like "the cured wound" are its substance, its determinants. Heaney expands 'beauty' to "the Dying Gaul", the classical statue, Graeco Roman tribute to the heroism of a Northern people, his fine but collapsed body unable to rise to its feet, and here "too strictly compressed", by an art deployed on a functional military object, a shield. He expands 'atrocity' to his own time, and to all others, where hooded victims are "slashed and dumped". This is how a poem enters into human agony, certainly by saying how it is, but more by laying bare reading after reading of the event it memorialises until the unavailable word that is sufficient to it, is only just unuttered. "The Grauballe Man" is one of many poems in Seamus Heaney's collection titled New Selected Poems that express Heaney's experience in such a strong and powerful through the use of mainly similes and metaphors. The similes and metaphors describe the person known as 'The Grauballe Man' when Heaney looked upon it in a photograph and how it looked to him in his memories. Through these techniques used, we as the reader are able to visualise the corpse and experience what Heaney was experiencing.. ...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. Comparative Essay Heaney-Clarke

    like Gillian Clarke does by saying very vaguely " all lost things lie under closing water in that lake with the poor man's daughter" this is open to interpretation on different readers.

  2. Theorem - Binomial Series

    There are however, two limitations to this method. 1 As soon as n becomes large, Pascal's triangle becomes very large and unwieldy.( In earlier years you may have been required to write out Pascal's triangle and realised how little you can neatly fit on a page, especially since the numbers go into 3 and even 4 figures quite quickly.)

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

    Both have been subject to the barbarism of human nature in the name of some greater good, specifically to appease the Earth Mother - Nerthus and Kathleen ni Houlihan respectively. Because of the political climate at the time they were written, the poems that make up North are overwhelmingly influenced by the bogland emblem.

  2. "The Past is another country and they do things differently there" an essay on ...

    In the third line of the first stanza and the first line of the second stanza, Heaney creates an image, gives an atmosphere that you can almost see and hear. '...A frail metal sound...' is a phrase, which is not quite onomatopoeic, but gives a similar concept.

  1. Satire Essay

    comments that they will 'take the gains and go' when the land is destroyed and will 'not be there to see' the consumers who 'die of cancer' due to the foe's malpractices.

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

    Digging, is about his father and grandfather using the natural surroundings of the farm to live, this including digging for potatoes and burning turf on the fire for warmth. Heaney gives vivid descriptions of the natural world and the feelings it gives him.

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