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

Seamus Heaney's "From the Frontier of Writing" Commentary

Extracts from this document...


Susic Vanja Susic Crown IB World Lit ?From the Frontier of Writing? Commentary October 25, 2012 ?From the Frontier of Writing?: A Commentary In the poem ?From the Frontier of Writing?, Seamus Heaney compares the process of writing to a battlefield and the pressures that come with both. In the first four stanzas Heaney described how he is being inspected by road police that violate his privacy by interrogating him. The fifth and sixth stanzas discuss a magnified criticism of his writing through the interrogation by more specialized police offers and the pressures of being preyed on. The seventh and eighth stanzas represent that the driver is finally able to escape the wrath of the police officers, and so the writer is finally freed of the trouble and criticism that comes with writing. In ?From the Frontier of Writing?, Seamus Heaney parallels driving through a battlefield and the interrogation that comes with it to the process in which a writer?s work is critiqued and accepted. The beginning of the poem introduces the way Heaney is monitored and interrogated while he first attempts to write, and the consequential self-doubt he experiences because of these pressures. In the first line, the speaker illustrates the ?tightness? and ?nilness? (1) of the road he is driving. The claustrophobic diction, paired with when the ?troops inspect? (2) ...read more.


Commas after the words ?self? (11), ?subjugated? (12), and ?yes? (12) serve as pauses that represent the exhaustion he feels after the long process of tackling his critics so closely. The words ?subjugated? (12) and ?obedient? (12) are an admittance of how Heaney follows the criticism of those who judge him, and show how at this point he wants to change his writing to fit the expectations of his critics. The fifth and sixth stanzas of this poem represent the magnified criticism of the speaker?s work and how difficult it becomes to evade. The speaker is described to be driving on the ?frontier of writing? (13), setting the scene as a battleground in which his writing battles the criticism he is facing from everyone but himself. As he is driving, ?it happens again? (14); the antecedent of ?it? being confrontation of troopers and thus criticism, and ?again? showing that the speaker cannot get away from this. This time, however, ?guns? are on ?tripods? (14), there is a ?sergeant? (15) as opposed to the former troopers, showing a more profound approach to the intensity of the situation and the interrogation of the speaker. There is repeated data ?about? (16) the speaker, contrasting what he is able to say for himself and what is being said of him that is out of his control. ...read more.


represents literally his car windshield, but metaphorically the clear view he is able to see now that he is no longer distracted and disillusioned by the intense criticism he has faced and passed. In comparing the process of writing and the criticism one faces for his writing to being stopped and interrogated while on a frontier, Heaney outlines the process in which he is finally able to overcome the intense criticism that inhibits his work any further. The title, ?From the Frontier of Writing?, portrays the fact that he has surpassed this criticism, through the word ?from?. Also, the process of writing and publishing a work is referred to as a frontier, expressing how tough and rigorous the process is. Connotations of war refer to everything the writer has to go through in order to be satisfied with their work and allow it to be presented to the public. The poem is split into two general parts: the process of criticism of one?s work, and the consequential reflection and satisfaction one feels after the criticism has passed and been ignored. Therefore, in the poem ?From the Frontier of Writing?, Seamus Heaney accurately compares the process of writing to a battlefield in order to express the criticism and intense procedures and satisfaction felt after finishing a work. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature 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 International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. An oral commentary on The End and The Beginning by Wislawa Szymborska, with an ...

    The account of destruction can be so horrendous, that it is easy to discount it rather then face the grim reality of the situation. Eventually, those "who knew" what occurred "must make way for those who know little. And less than that."

  2. Casualty is an elegy written by Irish poet and writer Seamus Heaney. It is ...

    knife / At a tobacco plug / And not meeting my eye, / In the pause after a slug / He mentioned poetry.' Through the alternating breaks, end-stopping and enjambment of the lines, and the word 'pause', the phrase is lent a slow and broken rhythm, symbolic of the man's hesitation.

  1. Digging by Seamus Heaney-IOC Script

    The symbolism given to both these items is that they are both representative of the conflicting professions in the poem and each of these items holds significance in that of the persona?s family?s roots. While the two items symbolize the different dueling professions portrayed in this poem, that of a labor-intensive lifestyle and the other of a more liberal nature.

  2. Frankenstein Commentary Essay

    If this rule were always observed; if no man allowed any pursuit whatsoever to interfere with the tranquility of his domestic affections, Greece had not been enslaved, Caesar would have spared his country, America would have been discovered more gradually, and the Empire of Mexico and Peru had not been

  1. Effect of PTSD in Dave Eggers A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

    Sure, I had, I thought I had, that we had been reconnected, all this time collapsed?I don?t even know what I wanted.?[24] By needing the sense of resolve, he is constantly in a state of searching for the one who will make sense of his thoughts.

  2. What is the work to be done? Commentary on the poems of Alan Ginsberg

    Ginsberg wants to tell America to look at himself and realize his mistakes. The line says, ?When will you look at yourself through the grave? When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites?? The first question proves that Ginsberg wants America to look at itself and see if it is doing the right thing by continuing this human war.

  1. The Unnumbered Commentary

    a turning point in the passage, evidenced further by the change in tone from passive recall of thoughts to edgy narration expanding to detail each movement of Nio and his new setting inside the North Circular. Description of Nio?s heightened senses displays his fear of the emerging conflict, and also

  2. Madame Bovary Notes

    o This is a departure from romanticism. * Pg. 41 = good example of Emma's attempts to recreate upper class life. o Topic of Illusion vs Reality: She believes that by teaching the maid all these things she'll be a lady's maid and therefore Emma will be a lady.

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