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

Post 1914 poetry. Other cultures- poetry of Seamus Heaney.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Coursework assignment 5- post 1914 poetry. Other cultures- poetry of Seamus Heaney. Heaney often writes about his childhood. Choose two or three poems and discuss his presentation of this theme. We are studying the work of Seamus Heaney, a well known poet. Heaney's earlier poems were largely focused on his childhood and his upbringing on his family's farm in Northern Ireland. Both his father and grandfather were farmers, but Heaney did not share their ambitions, he followed his dreams to become a successful poet. I am studying two poems by Heaney, the first is called 'Digging' and the second 'Follower,' both of which are about his childhood and how he viewed his father and grandfather. The first poem, 'Digging', refers to the fact that Heaney did not follow in his family's tradition. The poem begins with Heaney describing how his pen fits snugly into his hand. It is suggested that the pen is a comfort to him but something that he has complete control over and which can be used as a powerful weapon. We are made to believe this by the line, 'Between my finger and my thumb the squat pen rests snug as a gun.' This makes Heaney sound slightly threatening as if with this weapon he could do anything. ...read more.

Middle

We start to understand Heaney and receive the impression he feels the need to be accepted by his family and make them proud of him. The line, 'Through living roots awaken in my head' is effective and uses a slight pun as the word 'roots' could be perceived as the roots of the potatoes or the roots of the family tradition, and how in the past the family have conformed to them and been satisfied in doing so. The poem finishes nearly the same way as it starts with 'Between my finger and my thumb the squat pen rests. I'll dig with it.' From this line we receive the impression Heaney knows he is going to be just as successful as his father and grandfather and he appears to be quite confident. It seems to me that he is also saying he is going to do what he wants and even if people don't like him for it doesn't really make any difference to him. Through writing this poem Heaney seems to gain confidence and reassurance within himself. We know this by the change in the first and second line. The second poem I am discussing is called 'Follower.' This poem presents us with Heaney's admiration and idolisation for his father. This poem is also informal, as Heaney uses casual chatty language, to make us feel as if we know him. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think the poem makes Heaney's feelings easy to understand, and the audience are made to empathise with him. The poem finishes with a change in roles, as his father has become older he has become a nuisance just as Heaney used to be. We feel glad that Heaney has now been given his chance to shine and has 'stepped out of his father's shadow.' Both poems are extremely similar, focusing on the same theme. They both discuss Heaney's feelings for his family and they both talk about his family's job and how he admires them. There is one main difference in both poems; in 'Digging' Heaney does not want to follow in his family's footsteps, he wants to find his own way, doing what he enjoys, whereas, in 'Follower,' we receive the impression Heaney wants to be like his father, he wants to be able to work and create that same perfection. 'Follower' seems to be Heaney's feelings as a young boy who is confused about what he wants to do with his life. Whereas, 'Digging,' seems to be an older Heaney whom is now sure of what he wants to do and is confident he will achieve it. I think in 'Follower' Heaney is unsure about continuing in his family's tradition but does not actually express this emotion until 'Digging.' The reader witnesses Heaney grow and learn, and understands that Heaney didn't let anyone get in the way of his ambition to be a poet. Katie Fleetwood 10m ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Commentary on "Casualty" by Seamus Heaney.

    3 star(s)

    It commences with vivid description of nature. The word "Raw" used to describe the silence is highly effective at it suggest that the silence was natural, and not forced upon the people, thus creating a still atmosphere. The imagery of the priest's soutane whipping in the wind is also highly vivid.

  2. Compare and contrast the way Seamus Heaney and D.H Lawrence depict childhood feelings and ...

    Seamus Heaney uses his word choices to impact the reader also, except his help convey a sense of the character writing the poem - for example in Mid-Term Break, simple language is used to express the naivety, youth and uncertainty of Seamus when this event happened.

  1. How Seamus Heaney Evokes the Sensations and Emotions of Childhood by Comparing any Three ...

    The next major mood change comes with a time again 'at ten o'clock the ambulance arrived'. He has already been told by his mother most probably that his brother is dead at this point. But this ambulance must confirm his fears.

  2. Comparing and contrasting "Digging" by Seamus Heaney, and "He was" by Richard Wilbur.

    I think that both poems are about the poet reconstructing the pieces of memories which they think their fathers had to do to raise them up to what they are at present.

  1. Compare the ways in which Heaney presents family feelings in 'Digging' and 'Follower'

    and 'Digging' (" the old man could handle a spade") Overall, Heaney shows that he had a strong relation with his father and that he admired him greatly for his skill. The poet makes it clear that he cannot follow his ancestors traditions as he has "no spade to follow

  2. “Follower” and “Digging” By Seamus Heaney - What do we learn about Seamus Heaney’s ...

    Heaney has used the alliterations in the poem "Digging" to describe his father. He has also used alliterations for words in sequences, which begins with the same sound. (" His shoulders globed like a full sail strung") Also he has used alliterations in "Digging" to describe many things.eg.

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

    When something is killed, so as to terminate its being a pest or a threat, it is said to be silenced, soused has the same basic concept. In the first line of the third stanza, Dan Taggert asks if it's not better for the kittens now.

  2. Seamus Justin Heaney

    Heaney also describes the Tollund Man and how the bog preserves them. Heaney is become with nature probably due to his upbringing in Mossbawn. The second verse describes were they found him, in the flatlands of Jutland. In the second verse there is a very important line it is�his last gruel of winter seeds caked in his stomach."

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