In the second stanza the mood is dark and vile, conveyed by language like ‘gross,’ ‘rank’ and ‘vengeance.’ He create a tense image with the ‘bass chorus’ from the frogs. The necks of the frogs are described as ‘pulsed like sails’ and ‘blunt heads farting’ which coveys the terror and shows that the frogs Heaney once loved now wreak ‘vengeance’ on him. The frogs are described as ‘slime kings’ which once again brings out the dominance in nature. Heaney uses onomatopoeia in the words ‘slap’ and ‘plop’ to create an image on the readers mind.
This section also shows the punishment from offended nature for the boys arrogance – when he sees what nature is really like, he is terrified. This part of the poem is also very ambiguous – we see the horror of the plague of frogs, ‘obscene’ and gathered’ for ‘vengeance.’ – at least in the child’s mind. But we also see the scene a little bit more objectively – as it really was. Young Heaney was always used to seeing nature very close up but perhaps he never went beyond the simple account of ‘mommy’ and ‘daddy frogs’.
The arrival of the frogs is almost like an enemy invasion – they are ‘angry’ and invade the dam. The boy ‘ducked through hedges’ hiding from the enemy. Like firearms they are ‘cocked’ and ‘poised like mud grenades.’
The theme in Death of a naturals is the power of nature. This is illustrated when the frogs have power of the author as a child. The powerful theme is conveyed in the second stanza as phrases like ‘angry,’ ‘threat’ and ‘vengeance.’ The frogs are ‘poised like mud grenades’ which brings out images of guns and strength,
The other central theme is childhood and growing up. The poet is describing his happy attitude towards nature and frogspawn was ‘best of all.’ Heaney’s school teacher Miss Walls constantly uses childish language, like ‘mommy’ and ‘daddy frogs’ to convey his innocence at that age. In the second stanza, it is obvious b y change in language and tone like ‘slime’ ‘gross’ and ‘angry’ that the boy has reached adolescence and has become less oblivious and innocent to the world around him. The naturalist in him is dead.
‘Fattening dots burst’ shows growth and reproduction’ Heaney’s school teacher, is hiding the reality of reproduction from the children because they are not ready enough to face and accept the reality of the situation. They are not ready to accept sex. They are irrational. Puberty makes them feel guilty. In the end young Heaney ‘sickened, turned, and ran’ which shows that he is not yet grown up.
In his poem Heaney uses terms that we would not normally expect in another poem. He presents nature as the opposite of beautiful. Heaney shows how children are very igneous and naïve to the world around them and perceive the world as pure and wholesome. Heaney also shows the transformation from childhood to adulthood.