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

Poetry appreciation of 'Death of a naturalist' by Seamus Heaney

Extracts from this document...


1st of October 2004 Poetry appreciation of 'Death of a naturalist' by Seamus Heaney This poem 'Death of a Naturalist' by Seamus Heaney is about the lifecycle of frogs and a child's interest in nature. As the child grows up he looses interest in all aspects of nature. It is as if 'Death of a Naturalist' was referring to the loss of innocence of the child and the love of nature he once had died inside him. Not only that, he now has respect for nature but not necessarily disliking it; nor loving it either. The atmosphere of the first stanza is quite positive. A phrase such as 'There were dragon-flies, spotted butterflies,' suggests a happy mood and refers to pleasant memories to Heaney as a child. Diction such as the 'warm thick slobber' indicates to me the child-likeness theme of this poem. Which proves that it is from an adult's perspective looking back at his childhood. Heaney has done this by using the 'child-like' vocabulary as well as a more complex and mature tone to the poem. ...read more.


Throughout the poem Heaney makes excellent use of various imagery techniques such as metaphors and similes. An example of a powerful metaphor is 'Wove a strong gauze of sound'. This is effective because 'gauze' is something we consider as being solid and in this case hits you hard. By referring to the sound to a 'gauze' it is as if we can't get away from the sound, it surrounds you. Which I think is quite fitting for a bluebottle. Another thing is that Heaney makes use of many onomatopoeic words, which makes his style so unique. I think this poem concentrates on the sounds more than any other of the senses. For example thick 'slobber' and ' coarse croaking' which is also an example of alliteration. Also I would like to comment on the use of oxymoron. The title 'Death of a Naturalist' is one example and 'gargled delicately' another. 'gargled delicately' being my favourite because Heaney turns something considered positive (the bubbles) into something far more un-pleasant. ...read more.


My response to this poem is that I enjoyed it very much. Some aspects I enjoyed more than others. When I first read the poem I could not discover much depth in it. After thoroughly reading it my thoughts changed and I realised that the poem was not all about frogs. It was a case of reading between the lines. Heaney's overall message fascinated me and urged me to delve more into the subject of 'loss of innocence'. Which set me on a train of thought. One thing in particular that made the poem more enjoyable for myself was Heaney's flair for style. The way in which he concentrates on the onomatopoeia in the poem is very effective. As I had not previously read any other of Heaney's poems this immediately drew my attention. Another thing I liked was the images he created in my mind. One of those images were (in the second stanza); a battlefield where the child is on one side and the frogs are his opposition and the frogs are invading the land-similar to a war scenario. Therefore I would highly recommend this poet simply for Heaney's unique style of writing. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Seamus Heaney section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Seamus Heaney essays

  1. Compare the ways in which Pat Barker and Seamus Heaney use language as a ...

    In the poem 'Death of a Naturalist', for example, he uses the semantic field of violence, as the frogs "invaded the flax-d*m" and gave "obscene threats", while "poised like mud grenades". Equally, 'Requiem for the Croppies', written in 1969 is based on the Battle of Vinegar Hill, in 1798; this

  2. The poetry of Seamus Heaney is deceptively simple. Examine this comment in the light ...

    Many people have suffered a sudden death of a loved one ('Mid-Term Break'), the feeling of inadequacy ('Digging'), the sudden exasperation at the dependence of others on you ('Follower'), the need to see yourself in a different light ('Personal Helicon'), and lastly in later life the understanding that you have loss your innocence and ignorance of youth ('Blackberry Picking').

  1. Compare Death of a Naturalist, Advancement of Learning and Roe Deer.

    is just about to understand, like a fortuneteller who loses contact with the spirits, he loses it. Death of a naturalist In stanza one the poet is enchanted and obsessed by the frogs, e.g. "warm thick slobber of frogspawn was best of all."

  2. Write an essay on Heaney's poetry in the light of his statement that it ...

    His fascination with the fruits of the bog is evident from the outset, with the promise that: "Some day I will go to Aarhus / To see his peat-brown head". The poet closely identifies with the victim reclaimed from the earth; Heaney and the Tollund Man are closely aligned through the syntax of the poem.

  1. Discuss the view of the world which Heaney presents as surrounding himself as a ...

    He displays this sense of a perspective different to that of the ordinary in another poem, Undine, where he describes how the simple action of clearing drains can be perceived as a physical, loving and even s****l relationship between the female water spirit Undine and the farmer, clearing the drains out.

  2. Seamus Heaney - Death of A Naturalist

    When he mentions "bats on the wing" he again thinks about the rats and mice. He feels so small in this "gulf". At the end of the poem the child escapes his fear by waking up from his nightmare or falling asleep.

  1. What are the preoccupations of Seamus Heaney’s poetry and how does he explore them?

    "I want to grow up and plough, to close one eye, and stiffen my arm." Heaney tells us of how he looked up to his father and similar to that of Digging he wanted to carry on with his family's heritage of working on a farm.

  2. Looking at the poems in Death of a Naturalist discuss how Heaney use’s language ...

    His mood-changes prevail. In "The Early Purges", the first half of the poem sees Heaney as a vulnerable child: "I was six when I first saw..." and "Suddenly frightened..." While, in the second half he is looking back negatively as an adult: "Until I forgot them..."

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work