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

What do we learn of Seamus Heaney, both as a child and as an adult, from the selection of poetry studied? (Use quotations if you feel this would help)

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Louise Downie Poetry Coursework What do we learn of Seamus Heaney, both as a child and as an adult, from the selection of poetry studied? (Use quotations if you feel this would help) After studying a selection of poetry by Heaney I have decided to discuss the poems 'Mid Term Break', 'Blackberry Picking' and 'Death of A Naturalist' to answer the above question. In particular the poems 'Blackberry Picking' and 'Death of A Naturalist' are similar in the way that they show Heaney looking back at his childhood, and showing his reluctance to grow up and his refusal to accept reality. Heaney uses irony is his work, and the title 'Mid Term Break' is ironic, it gives the reader the wrong idea. Reading the title makes you think its going to be a nice happy poem about a Childs half term holiday but it's the total opposite. In this poem Heaney is reflecting on his past, and at first has created the mood of anticipation with his lines ; 'I sat all morning in the college sick bay Counting bells knelling classes to a close' From the above lines we learn that Heaney was away at boarding school as a child, and on that occasion had been called out to the college sick bay and, unaware what's going on but senses that something urgent is happening because the bells where knelling, which only happens in a time if crisis. ...read more.

Middle

Here we learn that like most other children Heaney enjoyed the summer. We know this from the line ; 'Like thickened wine ; summer's blood was in it' Above Heaney is being tactile, 'imagining' what wine tastes like, and giving us another clue he's a child, because he hasn't tasted any wine. The lines ; 'Sent us out with milk cans, pea cans, jam pots Where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots Round hayfields, cornfields, and potato drills' tell us that Heaney was on a farm, and natural that children were picking up anything empty to put blackberries in. Heaney is tactile in the way he makes the reader feel the wounds the children have, the lines ; 'Like a plate of eyes. Our hands were peppered With thorn pricks, our palms sticky as Bluebeards' show this. The above lines suggest how many Blackberries the children have picked and the word 'Bluebeard's' suggests steeling, Bluebeard's being a Pirate. The words 'Like a plate of eyes' is the use of simile here, almost like the berries are looking up at him accusingly because they've taken too many. Throughout the rest of the poem Heaney's mood has changed to be very negative. We now move to the farm where the children ; 'Hoarded the fresh berries in the byre' which suggests that the children have taken far too much than they need and are trying to hide it away. ...read more.

Conclusion

Heaney is using lots of unpleasant imagery at the moment and is starting to see nature differently now. In line 26-27 towards the end of the poem Heaney feels as if the frogs are about to attack. He says ; Right down the dam gross bellied frogs were cocked On sods, their loose necks pulsed like snails, some hopped'. Heaney uses a nightmarish simile within the line ; 'Poised like mud grenades, their blunt heads farting I sickened, turned and ran. The great slime kings' and he says that nature has changed, as if it was a threat waiting to happen. He refers to the frogs as kings above, he imagined all the frogs attacking him because he's taken all the frogspawn. His outlook has changed, he's developed a very different perspective. In the first part of the poem Heaney was all innocent and in the second part of the poem Heaney has grown up. As a child he saw things as nice and simple As he grew up he became much more cynical and his response was to run away, has developed a different viewpoint on life. Has left his boyhood and realism in the past but he doesn't want to grow up. In conclusion I have learnt many things about Seamus Heaney as a child and as an adult. From the poems we learn of Heaney's reluctance to want to grow up, his refusal to accept reality and leave his boyhood behind. I think I was successful in my analysis of the poems. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...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. Bye, Child by Seamus Heaney

    Just as the moon provides light during nightfall, this boy illuminates the darkness of the "henhouse." These moon like attributes which have been given to the boy also makes him seem ghostly. The ghost like image of this feral boy is obviously a portrayal of the emptiness in his life.

  2. Critical Analysis of Poems by Seamus Heaney

    He went on to win the Noble prize for Literature in 1995. In 1965 he married Marie Devlin and they have three children. The title of this poem is short and to the point - "Poem for Marie" in this Heaney uses the noun Poem to represent him and the poetry that he writes and "Marie" is representing his wife.

  1. Discusssome of the ways in which Seamus Heaney makes use of the past in ...

    However, in 'Mid-term Break' we see a very different picture of Heaney's Father then in 'Digging', where his Father is a very tough and masculine character, never stopping for a break 'stooping in rhythm through potato drills'. Whereas in 'Mid-term Break' Heaney remembers 'In the porch I met my father crying-He had always taken funerals in his stride'.

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

    way for Heaney to convey to the reader early on in the poem that something is wrong. The only other metaphor in the whole poem is 'poppy bruise' (Line 19) to describe how it looked red coloured with black in the middle.

  1. "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.

  2. Report on Seamus Heaney.

    It would be followed in years to come by a transfer to Belfast where he lived between 1957 and 1972, and by another move from Belfast to the Irish Republic where Heaney has made his home, and then, since 1982, by regular, annual periods of teaching in America.

  1. culture and the heritage in heaney

    This could possibly be because the simple ness of the poem keeps the poem at a steady pace. The poem "Strange Fruit", which is the second poem I wish to study is written in one stanza, which contains 14 lines.

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

    Onomatopoeia personalises the poem and makes us feel like we're almost with Heaney. Throughout the poem we are under the impression that we know Heaney, this is because of the informal casual language he uses, we feel as if he is almost having a conversation with us.

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