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GCSE: Seamus Heaney

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 5
  • Peer Reviewed essays 17
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  1. Marked by a teacher

    A Comparison Of Trout and Cow in Calf by Seamus Heaney

    3 star(s)

    This gives us an image of the trout being like a gun, not in just the shape of it, but also the destructive quality that a gun has. "slips like butter down/the throat of the river" This is the first use of a simile in the poem, which Heaney uses regularly in this poem. Heaney is comparing the movement of the Trout through the river to the movement of butter down a throat. The word "slips" contains much sibilance, which makes it sound as if the passage of the trout is smooth, without obstruction.

    • Word count: 1516
  2. Peer reviewed

    "Compare and Contrast 'Catrin' by Gillian Clarke with 'Digging' by Seamus Heaney

    3 star(s)

    The flowerbeds add pride to where he is digging as it shows it's a place well kept. To me, this scenario is described in a way that is based on an allotment. Seamus Heaney describes where his grandfather digs from stanzas six to eight. "Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods over his shoulder, going down for the good turf." (Stanza 7) I used all of stanza seven as a quote because the words written are all relevant to describe where his grandfather works. It proves that where his grandfather digs differentiated from where his grandfather digs. This also proves that the setting changes due to Seamus Heaney's memories of his father and grandfather.

    • Word count: 1869
  3. Peer reviewed

    Discuss how Seamus Heaney presents childhood in "Death of a naturalist" and "Mid term break".

    3 star(s)

    The poem opens with an evocation of a summer landscape which has the immediacy of an actual childhood experience. There is also a sense of exploration in "in the heart/Of the townland;" which is consistent with the idea of learning and exploration inevitably leading to discovery and the troubled awareness of experience.It gives a bad image of childhood because you could relate festered in my heart, heavy headed, daily it sweltered in the sun all to humans all too us.

    • Word count: 1528
  4. Blackberry Picking

    In the third line, 'At first, just one, a glossy purple clot', Heaney uses commas to create a pause and to heighten the anticipation. It's almost as if nature is teasing him and tantalising his taste buds with only one berry! Heaney, also, metaphorically creates a sumptuous mouth watering image with, 'a glossy purple clot'. Saying this phrase is like a berry rolling around on your tongue due to the use of alliteration on the letter 'l'. He also introduces the image of blood by using the noun, 'clot'.

    • Word count: 1401
  5. In The Follower when the son became the one doing the ploughing he got annoyed with his father following him around but in Strongman there is still a bond

    This suggests that the son likes what his father does and is having fun following him around. The mood changes in the last few lines though as the son is now older and doing the job his father used to but his father is now the one following his son around. This makes the son angry with him, we know this because he says, 'But today it is my father who keeps stumbling behind me and will not go away'.

    • Word count: 1608
  6. Mid Term Break Evaluation

    Furthermore the "counting" of the bells advocates that Heaney is bored but also implies that he is desperate to leave school which creates a very tense atmosphere. In addition the word "knelling" ironically suggests a funeral bell, rather than a bell for lessons. I think the opening of the poem has a great effect on us as tension is created and we get an idea that something horrific has happened but we do not know what. The poet effectively expresses the unhappiness he feels as a result of the fatality of his brother through the description of the actions of other family members.

    • Word count: 1868
  7. Comparing Mid-Term Break with Digging

    He says (on lines 29-31 "Between my finger...dig with it", which shows he has realized the power of what he does, and has pride in it. He no longer feels guilty. In Mid -Term Break, you can sense that Heaney felt rather detached and isolated because of the way he wrote "and I was embarrassed". He writes in a sort of third person - saying what happened to him and this really adds to the feeling of isolation. He doesn't directly mention any feelings, other than embarrassment, which leaves the reader guessing what he's feeling.

    • Word count: 1796
  8. the early purges

    Then it says "a frail, metal sound" and this shows a weak and fragile sound and it shows how helpless the kittens were. This stanza introduces Dan Taggart and shows of how life was on the farm. From the line "soft paws scraping like mad", it shows how helpless they were as they were panicking and desperate to escape. The next sentence says "but their tiny din was soon soused". Soon soused means stopped and after this sentence we realise that the cats have drowned in the bucket. Also in the same sentence the writer says "slung on the snout".

    • Word count: 1196
  9. Follower by Seamus Heaney.

    His father was digging channels in the ground with his plough to plant corps. In the second stanza the boy is describing his father as an expert at ploughing. His father would set the wing of the plough where he wanted to dig and then push the "sock" of the plough in the ground and signal the horses to pull, by clicking his tongue. While his father was ploughing, he dug big pieces of ground without breaking them. The third stanza describes his father and the horses as a "sweating team".

    • Word count: 1278
  10. Free essay

    Compare and contrast blackberry picking and death of a naturalist both by Seamus Heaney

    The voice is the poet as a child describing and recalling childhood memories and experiences Occasionally the voice of a child comes though as well to show his childish points of view and opinions, in Blackberry Picking Heaney says, 'It wasn't fair...' An adult would not say this. I like the way Seamus uses this technique because it helps you to believe that he is experiencing the moment as an immature child, instead of an adult looking back. Also, in Death of a Naturalist Heaney refers to the male or larger frog as a Daddy instead of a Father.

    • Word count: 1139
  11. Post 1914 poetry. Other cultures- poetry of Seamus Heaney.

    This makes Heaney sound slightly threatening as if with this weapon he could do anything. In the poem Heaney uses words such as 'rasping, nicking and slicing,' these words are all examples of onomatopoeia. They are effective as they convey the tone and sounds of the poem. The sounds are sharp and precise. This makes Heaney's father and grandfather sound as if they know what they are doing. He remembers the sounds clearly in his head and he seems to be reminiscing about his childhood. This is effective as it makes the reader start to wonder about his childhood which keeps them interested.

    • Word count: 1402
  12. C/W Comparing The Poems; On My First Sonne, Ben Johnson And Mid-Term Break, Seamus Heaney

    Mood is also evoked through strong action and emotion. I personally was particularly moved when Seamus Heaney, on entering his house for his brother's wake, noted his baby brother 'cooed and laughed and rocked the pram' - a poignant contrast to the solemnity of the adults that greeted him. It is also, I feel, a device to convey the tragedy of the death of a child - his innocent baby brother who knows nothing of tragedy- Seamus' own feelings of awkwardness juxtaposed with the expressed sorrow of the elders albeit the necessity for whispers to inform strangers of his identity.

    • Word count: 1177
  13. How does the feeling of loss exist in all four of these poems?

    "Seven yeeres tho'wert lent to me, and I thee pay, Exacted by thy fate, on the just day." "My Last Duchess" also deals with the loss of a close family member, the Duke's wife. The Duke shows his visitor a portrait of his late wife, which is kept behind a curtain. The Duke tells the story of The Duchess who "had A heart - how shall I say? - too soon made glad, Too easily impressed." The Duke explains how "she ranked My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name With anybody's gift." He felt that he could not speak to her about it and the situation became worse.

    • Word count: 1924
  14. The poem Mid-Term Break versus the poem Caged Bird.

    It indicates a term being broken in half, a time of relaxation and enjoying the time of school. But the poem is nothing about that. It indicates a sad period for the people involved and when they should be having fun, instead they are grieving for the death of a family member. The beginning of this poem is appealing as it starts with an ominous tone. The poem starts off on a sad note, describing a boy sitting alone in suspense in the 'college sick bay'.

    • Word count: 1078
  15. I will be comparing three poems called Storm On The Island (SOTI), Death Of a Naturalist (DOAN) both by Seamus Heaney and The Field Mouse (TFM) by Gillian Clarke

    As a comparison to this I found that line 26 of TFM which says that the air was "stammering with gunfire" gives us the sense of hostility and the environment was unsafe. In SOTI, it says that the waves "pummeled" the house, in comparison to TMF where the scene is set in the civil war in Bosnia; the surrounding building would have been "peppered" with bullet holes and damage from artillery fire. On topic of danger I found many points in all three poems that link to each other and contrast each other.

    • Word count: 1093
  16. analysis of mid term break

    The next scene is where the enormity of what had happened sinks in, and therefore is the most descriptive scene. The first scene takes place at school, from Stanza 1, line 1 and from stanza 4, line 2-3 we are told that he is at boarding school. The Author places a lot of emphasis on time, the whole of the first stanza, line 2 of the fifth stanza, also the first and third lines of the sixth stanza, all refer to time, this indicates the sense of heavy foreboding he felt, also the bewilderment and surrealism of the situation.

    • Word count: 1053
  17. I have decided to look at the poems "Mid Term Break" by "Seamus Heaney" and "Out, Out" by "Robert Frost

    The reader only learns who has died towards the end of the poem. In "Out, Out" has blank verses, it has no rhyme scheme or stanzas, instead it had a steady flow of words like a conversation. This reiterates Frost's view of death, which is that life will go on no matter what has happened. Robert Frost's insensitive viewpoint antagonizes the reader into feeling strong emotions for the boy. Although the two poems are writing differently they do have similarities, as both of them have shocking last line.

    • Word count: 1921
  18. Avalanche I was skiing down the slope at full speed trying to catch up with Kannan my only brother

    Ski right down, no tree or cabin on the mountain is safe!" someone yelled. Suddenly there was terror and panic all around me. "Keep calm. Ski down Kannan." I yelled at the top of my voice, before turning and heading downhill. Many others followed my determined lead. I saw Kannan begin to ski. Now, I told myself I should concentrate on my own safety as well as his and get to the bottom as quick as I could. It really was like a slalom race but instead of weaving in and out of poles it was trees and other skiers.

    • Word count: 1515
  19. Compare how attitudes towards other people are shown in: Follower (Seamus Heaney), Catrin (Gillian Clarke), The Song of The Old Mother (William Butler Yeats) and, lastly, On My 1st Sonne (Ben Johnson).

    Perhaps the most vivid sign of this obvious immense pride is the similie: 'His shoulders globed like a full sail strung'. To compare a human body, stereotypically frail when judged against something as magnificent as a ship, really paints a picture of an almost hulk of a man-and a small boys longing to be like his father. Clarke could be used as a direct comparison to Heaney's poem as, in the way he was describing the relationship between a father and son-she is doing the same, but of a mother and daughter.

    • Word count: 1007
  20. Compare the ways in which the two poems 'digging' and 'follower' explore the relationship between the poet and his father

    The title of 'Digging' is also very significant as it talks about how his father is digging with the plough, but Heaney is digging with his pen. This is suggesting he has broken away from his father and turned to writing. It could also be metaphorical as he talks of 'digging with his pen'. Seamus Heaney uses different themes to explore the father/son relationship. One particular theme that crops up in each poem is farming, which was, Irelands culture and rural way of life in the past.

    • Word count: 1652
  21. Seamus Heany/Grace Nichols

    Grace Nichols also uses her dialect in the poem which is a Caribbean dialect. This is shown when she addresses the Caribbean Gods in the poem. The poem is based on her move to England and her difficulty in settling in to this culture the poem is also based on real events when serious hurricanes hit England in the 1980's. The voice in both poems is written from a personal perspective. Grace Nichols voice is active and it is telling us how much the hurricane damaged and yet taught her a lesson personally, Seamus Heaney also talks about the destruction of the Island for example: " Or stooks that can be lost.

    • Word count: 1353
  22. 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)

    We learn that Heaney deals with adult issues at a young age and goes through seeing his father in a different light. We learn this from the lines ; 'In the porch I met my father crying He had always taken funerals in his stride' His father however isn't taking this funeral in his stride because its one of his own. In the next two verses Heaney shows us the awkwardness in the situation and the line ; 'The baby cooed and rocked the pram' made the situation for Heaney worse.

    • Word count: 1883
  23. Comparative Essay Heaney-Clarke

    Sonnets in that period were a great way of expressing feelings such as love and grief. 'Cold Knap Lake' is a narrative which in the second part explores about memory; it has an alternate 4 and 6 line stanza and ends in a rhyming couplet. 'Mid-Term Break' has an irregular structure with some regularities it has a 3 line stanza and ends in an isolated line which rhymes with the last line of the last stanza. 'On My First Sonne' its structure is of an irregular sonnet because a traditional sonnet has 14 rhyming couplets written in iambic pentameter, which means 10 syllables per line.

    • Word count: 1362
  24. Q2: Discuss the similarities between two of Heaneys poems

    Seamus Heaney is an Irish poet, whose work is notable for evocation of events in Irish history and its allusions to Irish myth. Heaney was born on April 13 1939. He was the eldest of nine children. Seamus Heaney describes a vivid childhood memory of him as a child blackberry picking. The poet described the disappointment of the rotting blackberries and also the excitement of picking the berries. Blackberry picking gives a colourful account of picking blackberries, but its theme is hope and expectation.

    • Word count: 1308
  25. Poetry: Seamus Heaney Long Essay

    These really are different phases of the linking process which is description. In simile, difference is recognised and so comparison is possible; in metaphor, an identity, at least in the possibilities present to language, is established and difference, again at the level of language, recedes. That is to say, in "the grain of his wrists is like bog oak", we recognise a fact in life, that one thing may, indeed, look like another. In "his hips are the ridge and purse of a mussel", we recognise a fact in art, that language can assert identities even where difference appears in life.

    • Word count: 1494

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Compare the different memories o f childhood presented in "Mid Term Break" and "In Mrs Tilschers Class"

    "In conclusion both of these poems deal with childhood memories. Heaney's' poem is more sad and we learn it effects him emotionally. Duffy's poem is an experience I think we all go through and we can deal with. I prefer 'Mid Term Break' as it affected me more emotionally as I can not sympathise with him. I think the poem is written really well as he builds up the tension that he felt. Jade schofield"

  • Compare and Contrast 'Death of a Naturalist', ' An Advancement of Learning' and ' The Early Purges'

    "In conclusion, the main similarities between the three poems are in the language used. By this I mean that of particular phrases such as war words and the usage of similes and alliteration and the fact that they are all about animals and fear. The main differences are that "The Early Purges" is a different structure to the other two poems. I have learnt about parts of Seamus Heaney's childhood and his coping with fear. I have also learnt different techniques to use in poems, for example alliteration. I have enjoyed the excitement Heaney builds up in each poem. My favourite poem is "An Advancement of Learning" because I can understand and picture everything Heaney describes. Also it is my most preferred poem due to the fact I can relate to confronting a fear and not having a path to turn to and then the fear swam away from me, so I can relate to the story."

  • Compare one poem by Seamus Heaney and one poem by Gillian Clarke to show how they use imagery to create effects.

    "CONCLUSION Both the poems, Mali and Blackberry Picking convey a strong message and meaning to the poem. The poem Mali is about a child's 3rd birthday, so naturally it is going to be a special occasion for her. I think Mali was written because it was such a special day for Gillian and it meant so much to her. In my opinion, I think Mali is a very effective poem. The many feelings and emotions conveyed in the poem, along with the poetic devices, especially imagery, make it a very interesting poem to read. The poem Blackberry Picking is about a past experience that Seamus had of blackberry picking. I think he wrote this because he feels that the memories of blackberry picking were very special to him and he wants to remember them. I think blackberry picking is also a very effective poem. The details of the blackberry picking are very well explained by his especially good use of vivid imagery and the other poetic devices in the poem. Edward Jones"

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