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GCSE: Seamus Heaney

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

    Seamus Heaney's poems explore the loss of childhood and the cruel awakening into the world of adulthood. Discuss.

    4 star(s)

    The poem is written from an adult perspective, although it has many childlike phrases in it. It is about Heaney's summer ventures with his friends during which they would collect blackberries in "milk-cans, pea-tins, jam-pots". It is an elegy, mourning the spiritual death of childhood. The poem is also an extended metaphor. The beginning is about childhood, seeing the world as a child. However there are associations made with adulthood throughout the first stanza eg: "like thickened wine." This implies that adulthood is always near, that it is creeping up on the poet. The second stanza is a metaphor for the adult world, and its disappointments.

    • Word count: 2314
  2. Marked by a teacher

    Commentary on "Casualty" by Seamus Heaney.

    3 star(s)

    The next line mitigates this desolate feeling through a delightful physical description: "And raise a weathered thumb". This is the first physical description of the drinker and it conveys to us that the drinker may be a hard working laborer. The first few lines of this stanza also convey a feeling of familiarity between the man, the bar, and his drinks. This is done through vivid imagery passed on by precise description: the drinker could order his drinks "without / Having to raise his voice" or with just "a lifting of the eyes". The strength of this imagery draws in the reader so that he/she feels that they are there at the scene.

    • Word count: 2312

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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