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With reference to two or three of the poems, compare the different ways in which the idea of change is presented

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Introduction

With reference to two or three of the poems, compare the different ways in which the idea of change is presented In the first stanza of the poem "Miracle on St David's Day" Gillian Clarke describes the country house in what seems to be an idyllic setting. "The sun treads the path among cedars and enormous oaks. It might be a country house, guests strolling..." Despite the conversational tone suggesting normality, her use of the word might alerts the reader. The illusion of normality is soon swept away by the opening line of the second stanza, "I am reading poetry to the insane." The finality of the end-stopped line and the blunt tone shocks the reader. The contrast between the descriptive lines of the opening stanza and the flat tone of this line introduce the reader to the contrast between the setting and the guests. Here the reader is presented with the first idea of change in the poem. The use of contrast is one way in which the idea of change is presented. ...read more.

Middle

"...word-perfect...the labourer's voice recites 'The Daffodils'..." In "Miracle on St David's Day" the idea of change is presented by the man; at first he was dumb and passive though, by hearing, absorbing and recalling the words of the poem he finds life through speaking. The use of rhythm in the poem also presents change. Similarly to "Miracle on St David's Day", the idea of rhythm and memories giving life is seen in "Digging". Seamus Heaney describes watching his father "stooping in rhythm through potato drills where he was digging". Another example of rhythm being used is when Heaney's father keeps digging, "going down and down". This not only presents rhythm, it is also symbolism of Heaney himself; he is digging up the memories and uncovering life, giving him life. Like the man in "Miracle on St David's Day", Heaney changes and is given life "through living roots". The word roots and the whole idea of digging are metaphors of Heaney discovering himself for his roots are where his family comes from and who he is, his identity. ...read more.

Conclusion

Here Heaney has decided to not follow his family tradition and dig with a spade. He thinks that words are powerful and describes his pen resting in his hand as "snug as a gun", guns being powerful; words being powerful. By the end, when Heaney has discovered himself through the memories he says, "Between my finger and my thumb the squat pen rests. I'll dig with it". The idea of change is seen here when symbolism of the pen and the spade is used; both dig to uncover and discover. Heaney decides to go against the stereotypical Irish career of potato farming, he sees power in digging with his pen and discovers himself through doing so. In both poems the idea of change is presented. In "Digging" metaphors and symbolism is used to present this change. In "Miracle on St David's Day" contrasts are used to present change. Also, in both the poems, rhythm is used, presenting change. Overall, change is seen when the two men discover their identity. In both poems memories are used to awaken their minds for self-discovery. The two men change for they gain life; they discover their lives and uncover their identity by digging deeper through words. ?? ?? ?? ?? Ashley Greenacre 11a English ...read more.

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