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Report on Seamus Heaney.

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Introduction

Contents Introduction 3 Biography 3 Favourite Poems 5 Mid-term Break 5 The Early Purges 5 Comparison Between Mid-Term Break and The Early Purges 6 Bibliography 7 Introduction In this report I will be talking about my favourite poet, Seamus Heaney. Included in this report is a biography of Seamus Heaney. At the end is a comparison between my two favourite poems. Biography Seamus Heaney was born in April 1939, the eldest member of a family which would eventually contain nine children. His father owned and worked a small farm of some fifty acres in County Derry in Northern Ireland, but the father's real commitment was to cattle dealing. There was something very congenial to Patrick Heaney about the cattle-dealer's way of life to which he was introduced by the uncles who had cared for him after the early death of his own parents. The poet's mother came from a family called McCann whose connections were more with the modern world than with the traditional rural economy; her uncles and relations were employed in the local linen mill and an aunt had worked "in service" to the mill owners' family. The poet has commented on the fact that his parentage thus contains both the Ireland of the cattle-herding Gaelic past and the Ulster of the Industrial Revolution; indeed, he considers this ...read more.

Middle

The essays in Heaney's three main prose collections, but especially those in The Government of the Tongue (1988) and The Redress of Poetry (1995), bear witness to the seriousness that this question assumed for him as he was coming into his own as a writer. These concerns also lie behind Heaney's involvement for a decade and a half with Field Day, a theatre company founded in 1980 by the playwright Brian Friel and the actor Stephen Real. Here, he was also associated with the poets Seamus Deane and Tom Paul in, and the singer David Hammond in a project that sought to bring the artistic and intellectual focus of its members into productive relation with the crisis that was ongoing in Irish political life. Through a series of plays and pamphlets (culminating in Heaney's case in his version of Sophocles' Philoctetes which the company produced and toured in 1990 under the title, The Cure at Troy), Field Day contributed greatly to the vigour of the cultural debate, which flourished throughout the 1980s and 1990s in Ireland. Heaney's beginnings as a poet coincided with his meeting the woman whom he was to marry and who was to be the mother of his three children. ...read more.

Conclusion

He doesn't like it at first but it is a necessity. The Early Purges I was six when I first saw kittens drown. Don Taggart pitched them, 'the scraggy wee shits', Into a bucket; a frail metal sound, Soft paws scraping like mad. But their tiny din Was soon soused. They were slung on the snout Of the pump and the water pumped in. 'Sure isn't it better for them now?' Dan said. Like wet gloves they bobbed and shone till he sluiced them out on the dunghill, glossy and dead. Suddenly frightened, for days I sadly hung Round the yard, watching the three sogged remains Turn mealy and crisp as old summer dung Until I forgot them. But the fear came back When Dan trapped big rats, snared rabbits, shot crows Or, with a sickening tug, pulled old hens' necks. Still, living displaces false sentiments And now, when shrill pups are prodded to drown, I just shrug, 'Bloody pups'. It makes sense: 'Prevention of cruelty' talk cuts ice in town Where they consider death unnatural But on well-run farms pests have to be kept down. All of Heaney's poems are about death and misery. I don't know why this is it might be because he had a terrible life and he is reflecting it out. ...read more.

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