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GCSE: Seamus Heaney

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  1. Compare the way the relationships between members of different generations are presented in the 'Follower', 'Baby-Sitting' and 'On My First Sonne' and 'The Affliction of Margaret'.

    is portrayed as weak and young (typical view of a child) and he often falls down. The boy is compared to the father - the boy is said to be clumsy, whilst the father is masterful - these are contrasting images. The boy also follows in his fathers 'hob-nailed wake' which means literally he is following in his fathers larger foot prints, and metaphorically means the boy wants to follow in his fathers footsteps. The term 'wake' is comparing the plough to a ship and so does 'sail' as the wake is the water ploughed up by the ships motion - and this is similar to the furrowed earth ploughed by the plough.

    • Word count: 1111
  2. In this essay I am going to concentrate on three poems ''An old man's winter night'', ''Follower'' and ''Lore''.

    He had writing experiences earlier in his life; he was a teacher and a newspaper reporter. It was this experience that had a part to play in getting him In to Harvard From 1897-1899 but within a period of 2 years in Harvard he left with out a degree. Frost died in Boston on January 29th, 1963 at the age of 89 but he succeeded in realizing his life ambition: to write ''a few poems it will be hard to get rid of''.

    • Word count: 1245
  3. Compare the way the poets present the ideas of DEATH or LOSS in 'Mid-Term Break', 'On The Train', 'On My First Sonne' and 'The Affliction of Margaret'.

    In Mid-Term Break, Heaney writes about the death of his younger brother. It is a realistic poem as it represents a true event that has actually happened in Heaney's life. The title 'Mid-Term Break' suggests a period of absentness from school, and it is, because of the death of his younger brother. He has to wait in the College Sick Bay, where he is later picked up by his neighbours; and he is unaware of the death, all he knows is that there has been an accident. Heaney immediately creates a sombre tone: 'Counting bells knelling classes to a close'.

    • Word count: 1622
  4. Poetry and Children.

    some give us a happy view of childhood while others present a much grimmer look. The first poem was written by R.S Thomas and is named Children's Song. This is a superb piece of writing done in block verse which suits this poem perfectly because it is as if is squeezed into a small area like a child's world which adults are too big to get into. The subject is presented from the child's eyes and in the first five lines the language is quite childish and easy to understand. All of sudden the poet changes this by using two or three words to help you get into an adult frame of mind although the child is still the person speaking.

    • Word count: 1405
  5. Appreciation of "Mid Term Break" by Semaus Heaney

    The suspense of waiting is then finished by the arrival of the " neighbors", we now know or have some kind of indication to where the boy Is going but at this moment the poem is still slightly unclear and we have questions about the boy. The scene changes in the second stanza, which begins with the image of Heaney's father crying as the poet meets him in the porch of their house. The confined space of the porch suggests a feeling of claustrophobia, as he enters a house unexpectedly crowded with people, and an atmosphere filled with their feelings of grief and sorrow.

    • Word count: 1197
  6. In the poem 'The Affliction of Margaret', Wordsworth analyses the pain of a Mother who is distanced from her child. Compare Wordsworth's approach to this theme with two other poems, one by Heaney and the other by Clarke.

    However, in contrast, Seamus Heaney's 'Follower' describes a son who is immensely proud of his father and is determined to follow in his father's footsteps. Although on the other hand, the last stanza depicts the son's desire to be free from his Father, because as he has grown older, he has become weak and dependant on his son; hindering him from achieving the things that he wants to and leaving the son feeling bitter towards his Father. The imagery used by William Wordsworth in 'The Affliction of Margaret' is quite depressing.

    • Word count: 1041
  7. Examining three poems which concern the poet's response to the death of a close relative.

    The poet also uses enjambment which is used in lines four and five. Enjambment is used to make the poem more natural and realistic. The rhythm of the poem is the pentameter which is 5 beats. The poet gives us the effect that someone is actually discussing the experience. it says in the first stanza" she kept an antique shop or it kept her among the apostle spoons and Bristol glass, the faded silk, the heavy furniture". The meaning of this section was that she was obsessed with her antique shop and it was as if it gave her a purpose to live and that it kept her going in life, also this was how she earned her living.

    • Word count: 1375
  8. Compare Digging with Catrin and the little boy lost/found and The song of the old mother.

    "My grandfather cut more turf in a day, Than any other man in toners bog." This quote shows that Heaney was talking as a child to his grandfather. "And the young lie long and dream in their bed." This quote shows that Yeats is talking about the younger generation and by calling them young she is implying that she is significantly older than the people she is referring to. In both poems they describe heavy manual work, but in 'Digging' they love doing the work that they do and in 'The song of the old mother' she is unhappy and bitter that she has to scrub, bake and sweep.

    • Word count: 1362
  9. Comparing and contrasting

    In 1995, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature. A resident of Dublin since 1976, he spends part each year teaching at Harvard University, where he was elected the Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory in 1984. In "The Follower", Heaney uses words such as "globed" and "strained". These are words, which show that life in the country is difficult and that the work involved can be hard work. They do however, produce good images about the country, because "globed like a full sail strung" shows many ideas of the hard work involved in life on the farm, and "strained

    • Word count: 1663
  10. The way Heany uses the Theme of Nature to achieve his Point.

    " Pliable, oil-skinned, wearing A transfer of gables and sky. Everything starts to change in the 3 stanza. The language is now moving fast because he is using devices like alliteration and assonance. " Something slobbered curtly close, Smudging the silence. " my throat Sickened so quickly. The words like sickened and quickly go smooth together giving a fast language. Also the nature is dirty and the nature makes us think that something slimy is coming out of the water. In the forth stanza the boy is running from the rat and another rat turns up so he is now trapped.

    • Word count: 1406
  11. Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney - review

    the old men gathered in the room; and finally Heaney's mother coughing out "angry tearless sighs", which show that she was hiding her true emotions. When Heaney writes of "Big Jim Evans" it has an almost hidden meaning. There seems to be and invisible emphasis on the word, 'Big' making it stick out in your mind. I think that Heaney does this on purpose; the word 'Big' brings the image of a strong, tough man I feel we are meant to translate it to mean that if 'Big Jim Evans' says that it was a hard blow that something extremely bad must have happened.

    • Word count: 1734
  12. Seamus Heaney

    To me this poem seems to be a Heaney writing a justification for not joining the family profession, but at the same time celebrating his chosen field of work (while doing the same for his family as well). Heaney mentions in the poem that his family are very skilled at what they do "My grandfather cut more turf in a day Than any other man In Toner's bog"; almost counteracting a possible feeling of guilt, as at the end of the poem he mentions, "I've no spade to follow men like that".

    • Word count: 1429
  13. I have been studying the poem 'Mid Term Break' by Seumas Heaney. I have been asked to write an essay about the techniques which Heaney uses to make this poem so moving.

    In this instance though, the father's tears indicate the passing of someone incredibly close to him - immediate family. The third line, "Big Jim Evans saying it was a hard blow," tells us that the death is a particularly tragic one, and one that will be difficult to come to terms with. We learn in stanza three that the narrator has a younger sibling and how his or her reactions are in such stark contrast to the solemn reality of the scene.

    • Word count: 1352
  14. Nature Poetry

    Both show that nature has a dark, frightening side and that it is not always pleasant and cheerful. "Nutting" begins with Wordsworth going to collect nuts on " one of those heavenly days that cannot die" but the poem ends with images of gloom and despondency. "Death of a Naturalist" begins with Heaney retelling his memories of collecting frogspawn; however, near the end guilt and fear are experienced by the child. The title "Death of a Naturalist" shows the poem is about the ugly side of nature and suggests that Heaney was indeed a naturalist and loved nature but the events during the poem is going to alter this.

    • Word count: 1347
  15. Discussing two or three Poems in Detail, Explain how you think Heaney Develops our Understanding of the Nature of Humanity and Existence through Poetry

    Heaney's father has great skill when it comes to digging, "levered firmly. This shows the reader that country life is not all easy, and even to work on a farm, you need to have quite a lot of skill. The images produced by these words are very effective because they give the reader a picture of a man who is not only digging, but doing it with immense skill, which is not something which we usually associate with a job like that.

    • Word count: 1119
  16. Death of a naturalist and An Advancement of Learning by Seamus Heaney, Roe Deer by Ted Hughes. All 3 poems are about nature; meeting with animals I will take special notice of similarities and differences.

    We can tell how much he cared and loved the small frogs and tadpoles. This one incident changed all this. The second poem is An Advancement of Learning, also by Seamus Heaney. Similarly to Death of a Naturalist he has written this in first person. This poem is also about his experiences from childhood. In this poem, Heaney is walking alongside an 'embankment path' (bank of a river) He then is faced by a rat, and has some sort of a mental battle with the rat.

    • Word count: 1962
  17. "Mid-Term Break" by Seamus Heaney - review

    It is actually about the death of a younger brother and the break of a family. This would definitely be classified as a holiday to a child. The information throughout the poem is controlled so that the last stanza would have a great impact upon the reader. The opening verse also had an impact upon me. Heaney uses imagery to set the tone of the poem. The opening verse of the poem sets the tone to be very neutral. Heaney says "I sat all morning in the college sick bay/ counting bells knelling classes to a close.

    • Word count: 1149
  18. A Critical Appreciation of "Mid-term Break" by Seamus Heaney

    In this stanza, there is an impression that something bad has happened, because he is sitting "in the college sick bay", and his "neighbours drove [him] home". There is an uncomfortable mood, and probably depressed. At the second stanza, the sadness and tension builds up, because his "father [is] crying" and this make us feel rather uncomfortable, because it makes us think that somebody he really cares about has died, as men tend not to be so sensitive and because "he had always taken funerals in his stride".

    • Word count: 1076
  19. Look Again at "Old Man, Old Man" and One Other Poem. How Does the Writers Explore the Relationships Between Parents and Children?

    He describes that his pen "rests; snug as a gun". Here Heaney uses a simile to indicate to the reader how he believes he was made to write. The reader can also infer from this that Heaney believes that there is a bond between him and his pen and the word "snug" suggests that the pen is special to Heaney because it rests perfectly. Furthermore, Heaney relates the pen to a gun, showing its power and potential when in Heaney's hands. The poet then focuses on his father, which allows the reader to see the difference between the two as his father is a lot more physical than Heaney.

    • Word count: 1058
  20. Analyse the two poems 'Out-Out' by Robert Frost and 'Mid Term Break' by Seamus Heaney by paying particular attention to the similarities between the two poems.

    "College sick bay" This could mean it is a boarding school because it has its own sick-bay. The similarities between the poems are that both of the deaths were accidents and were also quite brutal. Out-Out is a poem of 34 lines of just one stanza. The poem is written in the 3rd person by somebody that is narrating the story, and that has no connections with the happenings of the poem. The way the poem is written also makes it less tragic, as every line flows to the next without giving much time to think about what has happened.

    • Word count: 1321
  21. "Strongman" by Tony Curtis and "Mid-termbreak" by Seamus Heaney deal with the subject of death of a family member. Compare both poems showing how the poets introduce their subjects. Which poem did you prefer and why?

    In this essay I intend to look at the differences and similarities in the poems. The first poem I intend to discuss is "Mid-Term Break" by Seamus Heaney. The title "Mid-Term Break" suggests the poem is about children as we associate a mid-term break with school holidays. Other first impressions given in this poem relate to poor health or death. We relate to this due to the use of nouns such as "sick bay" and adverbs describing school bells as "knelling".

    • Word count: 1243
  22. Poetry Comparison - 'Follower' and 'The Early Purges' by Seamus Heaney.

    Heaney goes on to say 'watching the three sogged remains turn mealy and crisp as old summer dung'. This is very imagery language, and maybe quite disturbing, although I think it adds more atmosphere to the poem, because summer is supposed to be happy and fresh, whereas dung isn't. And 'turn mealy and crisp', which gives the impression that he tried to pretend that he didn't kill the kittens and that the event did not happen. A caesura is present in the fifth stanza: "Until I forgot them.

    • Word count: 1445
  23. How do the words in "Follower" and "Digging" show what country life is like and how effective are the images produced?

    The word, 'strained' indicates that the work involved in country life can be strenuous. The image of "Globed like a full sail strung" illustrates his father as a sail string that has to compete with the wave when he is ploughing the field. This represents the great effort and hard work that is involved in running a farm. In addition, the image of "Strained at his clicking tongue" also highlights how difficult the job is, not only for his father but also for the animals.

    • Word count: 1109
  24. Analyse the poem "Digging" by the contemporary Irish poet Seamus Heaney.

    Heaney also demonstrates he is just as skilled as his father. The first stanza links closely to the last stanza, at the end of the poem Heaney returns to his starting point, he will follow his own career path. The structure of the poem is written in loose irregular lines, as though someone is thinking aloud. There are two strong rhyming lines at the start and the end of the poem. Heaney does this to show he has made a definite decision about his career, a very powerful decision and wants to emphasise it.

    • Word count: 1254
  25. Heaney presents his loss of childhood innocence into adulthood by writing three poems called "Blackberry Picking", "Death of a Naturalist" and "Digging".

    The language in Blackberry Picking is mostly straightforward and informal. The most obvious imagery is of blood. Heaney uses similes to creative the scene such as the following "hard as a knot" which emphasis the density. "Our palms sticky as Bluebeard's", Heaney is comparing his hands to Bluebeard's (because Bluebeard killed his wife) this shows that Heaney is feeling guilt as if there were blood on his hands. Heaney is hinting that all is not well. The nightmarish visions of "Death of a Naturalist" are there again.

    • Word count: 1256

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