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Themes in Death of a Naturalist.

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Themes in Death of a Naturalist In the early book of poetry Death of a Naturalist, several themes reoccur in Seamus Heaney's poems. The poems "Follower" and "Digging" show that although we might admire our parents' qualities, we cannot always lead similar lives to theirs. In "Follower" Heaney demonstrates his profound regard towards his father's work in the image "his eye narrowed and angled at the ground, mapping the furrow exactly" because it thoroughly describes how meticulous the father was at farming. Also, Heaney actually states that he desires to be as skilled and strong as his father, "I wanted to grow up and plough, to close one eye, stiffen my arm" but reveals frustration since he knows that he's incapable. The line "all I ever did was follow" also reveals Heaney's realization that he is incapable of being a farmer but can only follow his father. ...read more.


slobber of frogspawn that grew like clotted water" make us sense that the speaker feels thrilled, curious and delighted about his experience with collecting frogspawn. However, the image "angry frogs invaded the flax-dam; I ducked through hedges to a coarse croaking that I had not heard before" in the second part of the poem, shows that the speaker is threatened and revolted by the experience; now he reacts with fear. Also when Heaney isolates the word "before" he is clearly stating that he never heard that certain sound of the frogs before; it was the first time he actually ever thought that the croaking was vulgar. In addition, the image "I sickened, turned and ran" reveals the speaker's sense of danger as he tries to escape the frightening frogs. Likewise in "Blackberry-Picking" The speaker first pleasantly describes the berries, and this is revealed in the simile "and you ate that first one and its flesh was sweet like thickened wine". ...read more.


Heaney vividly paints a dynamic and powerful scene of nature in these lines. In addition, Heaney also shows how nature creates marvelously and almost perfectly designed creatures in his poem "Trout". The simile "from depths smooth-skinned as plums" suggests the smoothness of the trout. The line "picks off grass-seed and moths that vanish, torpedoed" describes how agile and powerful the trout is for it to survive. Furthermore, Heaney's deep esteem for nature is portrayed in the poem "Lovers on Aran" in which romantically describes the land and the sea as two lovers. This idea is illustrated in the lines "the timeless waves, bright, sifting, broken glass, came dazzling around...to possess Aran" and "did sea define the land or land the sea?" In conclusion, through his poems in Death of a Naturalist, Seamus Heaney is mostly concerned with communicating evocative memories of childhood, growing up and nature. Ayla Deiri 17/1/04 ...read more.

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