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

GCSE: Seamus Heaney

Browse by

Currently browsing by:

4 star+ (1)
3 star+ (4)

Meet our team of inspirational teachers

find out about the team

Get help from 80+ teachers and hundreds of thousands of student written documents

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  1. In "Digging" and in "Follower", Heaney is thinking about his father. How do these poems give you different ideas about his relationship with his father?

    In the second stanza, Heaney says, 'An expert'. Again, this is a show of respect, telling us that he thought of his father as an expert at his trade. In stanza five, we realise what Heaney's ambitions as a child were. 'I wanted to grow up and plough, To close one eye, stiffen my arm.' This shows his desire to be a farmer, just like his father. However, it also shows how and why this changed. He felt like he could never be good enough, like he was never to be as good a farmer as his father was.

    • Word count: 1072
  2. Compare Heaney's presentation of his father in 'Digging' and the 'Follower'. Analyse the techniques used to communicate his ideas both of himself and his father.

    "Mapping the furrow," tells the reader that it is like navigating a ship. This tells the reader that his eyes are excellent so that he is able to plough in straight lines. As the father ploughs "the sods" roll over "without breaking" like a wave and if the child stumbles "in his wake" the father puts him on his back as the dips and rises on his father's back. The reader feels that son admires his father and the way he worked. The person in the poem "Digging" feels pride in both his father and grandfather as they started to dig the peat: "My grandfather cut more turf in a day Than any other man on Toner's bog."

    • Word count: 1138
  3. Comparative Study of the poetry of Seamus Heaney.

    Although 'Digging' does not start with "I" the second letter is "my", so again we know the poem is about the poet (Seamus Heaney). In 'Mid-term Break the theme is not set straight away, it begins with Heaney sitting in the sick bay waiting to be taken home, but in the first stanza the reader does not yet know why. I get the impression that Heaney is bored and a little agitated because he is "counting bells", this slows the poem down.

    • Word count: 1445
  4. Discuss the view of the world which Heaney presents as surrounding himself as a child from your reading of the following poems:Digging, Death of a Naturalist, The Barn, Blackberry-Picking.

    However, his different perspective of certain objects and actions are more apparent in other poems. In the poem 'Digging' he takes, what would be described as a normal situation where he was sitting in his room watching his dad digging, and changes it into something perfect, something beautiful. The use of words such as "nestled" in lines such as "The coarse boot nestled on the lug," clearly show how Heaney is taking a standard action and describing it to us as an art form.

    • Word count: 1859
  5. I shall be writing about three of Seamus Heaney's poems to show "the lyrical beauty and ethical depth that exalt everyday miracles and the living past.

    In 'Digging' Seamus Heaney's admiration is clear in the loving way he writes about their skill with a spade. 'By god, the old man could handle a spade Just like his old man.' 'My grandfather cut more turf in a day Than any other man on Toner's bog' The way the lyrical way he writes about his father and grandfather's digging 'exalt the everyday miracles' of an ordinary daily task. Heaney believes that poetry should have energy and passion and chooses the right words that also configure up beautiful images.

    • Word count: 1189
  6. Examine 'Follower' and 'Digging.' Discuss the relationship shown in the poems between Heaney and his father.

    His father is now old, we are given this impression because he is said to be "straining." From being such a hard worker in 'Follower,' this helps us to distinguish the age that Heaney is now. Heaney states that his love for digging is no longer there, unlike 'Follower', where he wanted to be just like his father. Heaney still helps his dad when they pick potatoes for the family, so he still adores his, but no longer idolises him, like in 'Follower'. When analysing 'Follower', we see clearly the respect, and how he idolises his father.

    • Word count: 1509
  7. Beyond Pythagoras

    Shortest side I have worked out the nth term formula for the shortest side. This is how I did it: The common difference between each term is two. From my class work I know I can work out the nth term formula using this equation: "dn+(a-d)". * "a" is the value of the first term in the sequence. * "d" is the value of the common difference (in this case 2) Applying this formula you get: "2n+(3-2)", simplified you get: "2n + 1" To test this formula I will apply the formula to the 1st term and 2nd term.

    • Word count: 1938
  8. How has Seamus Heaney's childhood affected his poetry?

    The title immediately suggests that the poem is about getting rid of undesirables. It is about a particular incident and how we lose innocence, describing the effects of Heaney witnessing the killing of "frail" and "tiny" kittens. The words, "Soft paws scraping like mad" suggests how helpless and vulnerable the kittens are; they are so small that they are unable to climb out of the bucket. The word, "soft" indicates a feeling of guilt about destroying the helpless kittens. The kittens are made to seem innocent and vulnerable through the language used. The words, "frail metal sound" and "tiny din" imply that the kittens don't make enough noise to be significant.

    • Word count: 1118
  9. 'The Early Purges' by Seamus Heaney focuses on the traumas of childhood, and how impressionable we are when we are young.

    This is the moral of the poem, and this essay looks at all the imagery and word choice used to clearly describe the boy's feelings, and how they change. The poem opens up with a very short, simple and matter-of-fact line; 'I was six when I first saw kittens drown' The fact that the line is in 1st person creates a personal touch to the poem, and the past tense tells the reader that the poem will be about memories.

    • Word count: 1563
  10. How do Heaney's words show what country life was like and how effective are the images he produces - Follower

    "The sod rolled over without breaking" not only illustrates skill in the country, but also beauty. The idea of freshly ploughed soil, perfectly formed adds to the readers perception of the country as a beautiful place, and so country life is also portrayed as very happy. However, despite these nice images, Heaney also uses such words as "sweating" and "stumbled" alongside them. This means that he wants to show country life from both angles and explain to the reader that while it may look nice and the visual rewards may be great, it takes a lot of effort to get to that stage in the first place.

    • Word count: 1552
  11. Seamus Heaney

    "Speech clamped in the lips, vice" this use of metaphor indicates that he is a anti social person with the word "vice" once again describing the mans power and strength. The Docker is then described as a hard and tough man, "Cowling plated forehead and sledge head jaw" because he is compared with very hard objects, such as a sledge head which is made out of steel. "That fist would drop a hammer on a Catholic" this verse is of a violent nature which confirms the Docker as a violent aggressive man who clearly does not like Catholics.

    • Word count: 1112
  12. Examine the influence of Heaneys childhood upon his poetry

    Heaney wrote very realistic poems about life in the countryside and wanted to show what it was really like (rough and hard).This is clear in Death of a Naturalist and Early purges. When he was twelve he won a scholarship to St Colun's boarding school in Derring later he won another scholarship to Queens university where he studied English. When he was at university he started to write poems and the increasing problems in Ireland became apparent to him and his poems examined these problems.

    • Word count: 1300
  13. "Digging" by Seamus Heaney

    When looking at the first stanza, one realizes that it is only two lines, however, this does not take away from its importance. The character describes basically himself at the beginning of the poem. Through the words, "Between my finger and my thumb/The squat pen rests;" the reader obtains the idea of how the character is a writer. However, this stanza also goes on to describe how the character feels that his line of work, writing, is suited for him.

    • Word count: 1427
  14. Introduction to The Lesson and Mid-term Break

    By also having three line stanzas helps the last line have more of a "punch" feeling because it breaks the mould. Heaney avoids using rhyme in this piece because we usually associate rhyme with happiness and glee. Because of this reason Heaney purposely makes this poem sad and hopeless. Analysing The mood changes throughout the poem. At the start the mood is sombre, sad and mysterious but when it reaches "next morning" the mood has changed to a happier tone as if it shoes life goes on oblivious to his brother's death.

    • Word count: 1880
  15. With close reference to at least three poems by Seamus Heaney, explore the ways in which he makes his feelings and opinions about life in rural Irelandvivid for the reader.

    "The Death of a Naturalist", is a narrative, Seamus Heaney tells it as if it was a story. He uses an enjambment throughout the poem to make it flow from line to line instead of stopping at the end of each one. He also uses an iambic pentameter in the poem, this subtle rhythm makes the poem sound less poetic and more like a story. He also uses phrases such as "Then one hot day" (line 22). This makes the poem more vivid for the reader because they can relate it to real life and their own childhood.

    • Word count: 1688
  16. Compare And Contrast Out-Out And Mid-Term Break

    The similarities of the two poems where that the both deaths were caused by accidents also both were very brutal. In both poems the message indicates that life is delicate and accidents do happen and some can be deadly. The response to the dreadful accident showed the difference of classes of the two families. The boy in out-out was working day in and day out cutting stove length logs of wood to keep the house nice and warm. Him doing this day in and out would mean that he would get a bit bored of doing the same job day

    • Word count: 1353
  17. The Digging In The Creekbed

    Alferd Packer, Colorado's famous (believed) cannible, was a frequent guest at the house after he got out of jail. But alas (I think) none of us has wittnessed anything unusual occuring - in the house. OUTSIDE the house, however, was: [insert spooky music score here] "the digging in the creekbed". Jeez, all this build-up for what is probably nothing. Ok, here's what we experienced: One summer in the late '70's, and in my late teens (oops, I just dated myself- god I hate when that happens!), starting in mid-june, we heard the unmistakable sound of someone digging in the sandy creekbed with a shovel.

    • Word count: 1125
  18. Satire Essay

    Throughout the history of literature, satirical poems have obliterated many varieties of antagonist, ranging from religious figures to political and social failings in society. Since the ancient Roman and Greek period, satirical poems have earned their respect by, to some degree, shaping the humans we have become today. They aim to show us our fault and persuade us to modify and advance our behaviour and nature. One major poem, which highlights this concept, is the 'Hymn Of The Scientific Farmer' by Clive Sansom.

    • Word count: 1131
  19. Conflict in Northern Ireland- "Oh God Help Us"

    Sean McLeary and his brother, Malachi sat in silence opposite their father's stone. His ashes had been spread out at sea, as he had always said he wanted them to because ' there is no place on this land that is not too conflict ridden to lay someone to rest upon'. So now he only had a stone that had a few words in harsh letters carved in the yellowing stone. There was one thing, which had always left Sean cold and resolute. This was that as at the bottom of every other stone, was in scripted the words 'PROTESTANT'. 'Now who wants to have that on their death bed?' Sean wondered aloud.

    • Word count: 1174
  20. "An advancement of learning" and "Churning Day" both looks back at a memory of the poets past/ childhood. Compare how these poems deal with the relationship of past and present with "The Sick Equation"

    'Churning Day' is a comforting poem for Heaney, it celebrates the good times he had when churning as it brought the family together; it was a happy time. So when things get tough in Heaney's life (with regards to his Irish background) he can escape from it all and remember the good times he has had when churning. Both of the childhood memories in advancement of learning and churning day are good and looking back and remembering them could help Heaney through difficult times in his life.

    • Word count: 1343
  21. Discuss the poems 'Death of a Naturalist' and 'Personal Helicon' by Seamus Heaney

    their children, his reality of the frogs turns into an interpretation of evil, the object of fascination becomes 'slime kings' and 'angry frogs' the vision of them is that they will attack if anymore is taken. Again in the second poem 'Personal Helicon' tells about his curiosity for things this being wells. He would like to gaze long and mystically into the pale whiteness of his own reflection. He also liked getting dirty. The first verse appeals to sight and smell and is portrayed through the 'smells of dank moss' and the 'dark drop and trapped sky'.

    • Word count: 1254
  22. Compare the ways in which Heaney presents family feelings in 'Digging' and 'Follower'

    This image gives an impression that 'Digging' has something irregular happening, or a broken trend, like Heaney 'digging' with his pen, unlike his ancestors who used a spade. The format of this poem also gives an impression that Heaney is digging into his family's past as he starts off talking about himself, then his father and slowly talking about his grandfather and then back to himself again. Both poems have many similarities and differences in which Heaney presents family feelings, although in both poems, his father is shown as a man of great skill and strength internally and externally.

    • Word count: 1576
  23. Comparing and contrasting two Poems on the theme of childhood By Seamus Heaney.

    it also shows us that the frogspawn is racing and covering the pond water very fast it also gives me an impression that he enjoys seeing the frogspawn growing and covering the pond as he enjoys collecting frogspawn "I would fill jampotfuls of the jellied specs" This shows the enjoyment of a young child collecting and watching something grow. We see the use of positive phrases "There were dragon-flies, Spotted butterflies... " The use of commas and short sentences give us an understanding of the child's enjoyment of wildlife.

    • Word count: 1219
  24. Seamus Heaney - Death of A Naturalist

    The reference to a harness and plough socks represents the farming community in the 1950s in Ireland. This is Heaney referring to his background. Heaney creates great atmosphere, texture and visual images by using alliteration in "mouse-grey, smooth, chilly concrete". Claustrophobia hits him by being inside the barn. It has no windows and no escape. The young boys breathing is getting harder and isn't helped by the "clogging cobwebs". The barn "burned like an oven", shows how Heaney was feeling the heat of his fear. Heaney uses hard, sharp repetition of p in the phrase "pitch-fork's prongs".

    • Word count: 1975
  25. Compare and Contrast Heaney's treatment to death in the two poems "The Early Purges" and "Mid-Term Break".

    In the second stanza you are told that the father of Heaney is at there crying on the porch. In them days fathers don't cry, the reason for this is that the male figure is seen to be the strong one and doesn't show any emotion, so in this case something really serious must have happened to make him cry. In the next line it tells you that someone has died as it says, "He had always taken funerals in his stride". The last line of this stanza has a euphemism in it, it says, "And Big Jim Evans saying it was a hard blow" In the third stanza the baby is mentioned.

    • Word count: 1440

Marked by a teacher

This document has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the document.

Peer reviewed

This document has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the document page.

Peer reviewed

This document has been reviewed by one of our specialist student document reviewing squad. Read the full review under the document preview on this page.