John Clare was born in 1793 and died in 1864. He was born in the
countryside and remained a countryman all his life. He was a son of a
labourer, his mother was illiterate and his father could barely read
or write. His family were desperately poor and he never travelled far
from home. His poem Childhood is autobiographical and reminiscent on
his childhood memories. His first anthology was called "Poems
descriptive of rural life and scenery" and it was very well received
but later anthologies weren't as enthusiastically received.
Seamus Heaney was born on the 13th April 1939 in Bellaghy, South
Derry. He was the oldest of nine children and grew up on a farm. He
studied English at Queens and went on to teach in Belfast. He had a
distinguished academic career; his first anthology was called "Death
of a Naturalist". He went on to lecture at Queens and in 1973 he left
Belfast to live in Co. Wicklow. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for
Both poets show their love for the countryside in these poems.
Although there are similarities between these poets there are many
differences. Heaney was Irish and Clare was English; Heaney had a good
education but Clare didn't, Heaney travelled far but Clare didn't.
There are different styles of tone, style and content.
John Clare wrote his poem "Childhood" because he wanted to share his
childhood with everyone. That is why there are so many references
about his childhood. Seamus Heaney wrote "Follower" because he wanted
to celebrate his father's skills and also to reflect on his
relationship with his father. Both poems are early memories for the
"Childhood" is about John Cl...
... middle of paper ...
... and irritation with the last phrase "will
not go away". This means different things to different people. It
could mean that old people are sometimes a nuisance and people get
impatient with them.
It is also important to remember that Heaney chose another way of life
that took him away from his roots, and the passage of time has
distanced him from his father.
My conclusion is that Clare used good language to recall his
childhood, but I don't think that it was well structured. Heaney used
good language and good structure to express his childhood. I think
that Heaney's poem was better because of these reasons. I think that
it is easier to read and it can be identified with. It is based on his
childhood and he is following his parent, which we all do when we were
children. We will all have to face the day when we will become the
carers, not our parents.
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