Seamus Heaney's Background and Poetry Essay

Seamus Heaney's Background and Poetry Essay

Length: 3054 words (8.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Seamus Heaney's Background and Poetry

Seamus Heaney had a Roman Catholic upbringing in a rural area of
Northern Ireland. How does his poetry reflect his background?

Heaney's poetry is able to reflect his background by his use of
language and the technique he expresses his experiences. I will cover
his background into three sections: his childhood, the community and
his reflections.

I will start by looking at his feelings and experiences in the poem
'Death of a Naturalist'. The poet remembers the time when he was a
young child. He saw the reality of what frogs were really like in the
outdoors compared to what was taught in school. In school, the frogs
are described like a typical teacher talking to young pupils. It is
very patronising and cosy hiding the fact that they are 'rank',
off-putting and sickening in certain ways. For e.g. "the dam
gross-bellied frogs were cocked" and " Poised like mud grenades, their
blunt heads farting". They are described as being like grenades due to
their size, shape, colour and the "scary" croaking noises that the
creature makes. It was a new experience for him for he had not heard
the noises before," to a coarse croaking that I had not heard before".
He did not feel in the right situation and it was like he had never
felt like that before. During his experience, he felt insecure,
anxious and self-doubting. He puts himself down for he blames himself
for the "obscene threats" the frogs were giving him.

His use of language is able to quickly adjust the mood from a pleasant
school setting to a horrid, smelly and repellent atmosphere. Heaney
understood the straightforward and simplistic teachings at school but
is bewildered and scared when he approaches the frogs. The po...

... middle of paper ...

... fascinated by her he knows he shouldn't be because
she has done wrong. Even though he feels so deeply of this girl he
realises how foolish he was by letting them carry on with the
punishment; "I who stood dumb".

In some cases Heaney is able to use oxymoron in order to describe how
society can be a catastrophe at times. He uses the descriptive words
"civilized outrage" to show this. He puts two opposite words together
to form a different meaning. Hence the word "civilize" and "outrage".

Heaney has experienced many tragedies in his life from "Mid Term
Break" to "Punishment". He clarifies this using his own expertise of
writing to create descriptive poems like these. What must be said
about him is how he is talented enough to deliver what is suppose to
be delivered, very effectively in order for a reader like me to have
such an impact on what is said.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Analysis of Seamus Heaney's North

- Analysis of Seamus Heaney's North The poet Keats wrote that “the only means of strengthening one’s intellect is to make up one’s own mind about nothing – to let the mind be a thoroughfare for all thought, not a select body”. That this may be an admirable aim for a poet, and especially so for one writing against a background of ethnic violence, is not in doubt. It is, however, extremely difficult to remain neutral when one identifies oneself with an ethnic party involved in conflict. It is my intention, then, in this essay, to document how Seamus Heaney’s reaction to violence in his homeland has affected his writings, with particular reference to the volume of poetry entitled “North”....   [tags: Poetry Seamus Heaney Sexuality Poems Essays]

Powerful Essays
3770 words (10.8 pages)

Essay on Dichotomy in Seamus Heaney’s Poetry

- Dichotomy in Seamus Heaney’s Poetry How much does an artist’s life affect the art they produce. One’s art certainly can be an expression of one’s surroundings and in this manner the surroundings are woven like a thread into their body of work. Seamus Heaney, born and raised in Northern Ireland, has grown up with many strong influences in his life that are visible in his poetry. As Robert Buttel claims in his article on Seamus Heaney “the imprint of this poet’s origins is indelibly fixed in his work” (180)....   [tags: Art Poetry Literature Essays]

Powerful Essays
3664 words (10.5 pages)

Comparison between William Blake and Seamus Heaney Essay

- Comparison between William Blake and Seamus Heaney In this essay I will compare two internationally recognised poets, William Blake and Seamus Heaney. I will discuss their similarities and differences not in only just their writing, but also their everyday lives. William Blake was born in 1757 in London, where he lived practically all his life apart from three years at the beginning of the 19th century, where he lived in Felpham, near Bognor Regis in Sussex. He had no early education, but became student, studying art, at the Royal academy school in the early 1770s....   [tags: Writers William Blake Seamus Henry Essays]

Powerful Essays
1371 words (3.9 pages)

The poetry of Seamus Heaney is deceptively simple Essay

- The poetry of Seamus Heaney is deceptively simple. Examine this comment in the light of his choices of subject, diction, and structure. You should refer to at least two poems in your responses. The deceptive simplicity of the poet can be helped to be understood through P A M Dirac, who suggests that poetry tries to tell people in a way that is understood by no one, something everybody already knew. If you can comprehend this, it is easier to see how the poetry of Heaney can be called deceptively simple, the surface which appears to be the reminiscing of his youth, is misleading, in actuality it is hinting at something far more complex and explaining lessons of life that he learnt, that the r...   [tags: English Literature]

Powerful Essays
1770 words (5.1 pages)

How is Seamus Heaney's Irish Rural Heritage Reflected In his Poetry. Essay

- How is Seamus Heaney's Irish Rural Heritage Reflected In his Poetry. Seamus Heaney was born and grew up in the Irish countryside on his fathers' farm. His father was still using the traditional farming methods, which had been handed down for generations, even though technology had developed greatly in the early twentieth century. Heaney learns a lot from his father about farming and how generations of his family have done it. Heaney takes a great interest in it and he admires his father's skill in working the horses....   [tags: English Literature]

Powerful Essays
851 words (2.4 pages)

Poetry Analysis Essay

- A quote from Seamus Heaney’s poem entitled “Summer 1969” is “He painted with his fists and elbows, flourished / The stained cape of his heart as history charged” which will greatly influence my discussion of his developing expressions of his role as an Irish poet. In this essay I will be discussing his poems entitled “Bog Queen”, “Punishment” and “Summer 1969”. In discussing any poet, one must always consider the social and political background to the poetry since poetry never exists in a vacuum but is always influenced by its social and political times....   [tags: Poetry]

Powerful Essays
1679 words (4.8 pages)

How Seamus Heaney's Childhood Affected His Poetry Essay

- How Seamus Heaney's Childhood Affected His Poetry Seamus Heaney was born in the North of Ireland in 1939 on a farm with his mother and father and nine other siblings. Generally Heaney's poems are influenced by animals through his childhood experience, specifically within 'The Early Purges' and 'An Advancement of Learning'. Heaney grew up near Belfast, during the time of 'The Troubles', the Irish civil war. Although Heaney left at the height of the war, it is obvious his work reflects his experiences of that time....   [tags: Seamus Heaney Childhood Poetry Poems Essays]

Powerful Essays
1104 words (3.2 pages)

Comparing Digging and Follower by Seamus Heaney Essay

- Examine two poems, Digging and Follower by Seamus Heaney and then compare the poems, explaining both their differences and similarities. The first poem I am going to examine is "digging" by Seamus Heaney. I will first comment on the title of the poem. "Digging" has both a metaphorical and literal meaning to it. The literal meaning is that his father and his grandfather are farmers. The poem talks about the men "Digging" and working, so this explains the literal meaning of the poem. The metaphorical meaning is that Seamus Heaney is "Digging" into his past and back round, which is farming....   [tags: Seamus Heaney Poems Poetry Essays]

Powerful Essays
1856 words (5.3 pages)

Seamus Heaney's Poems Essay

- Seamus Heaney's Poems Heaney was born on April 13 1939. He was the eldest of nine children. In modern day society it is common to have 2 or 3 children, and to have eight or nine children is considered very unusual. Heaney lived on the family farm, Mossbawn, about thirty miles northwest of Belfast, in County Derry. The majority of UK residents live in urban areas, and a small minority live in rural areas. It used to be more popular in the past to live in a rural area. People in rural areas live, and have lived, in a totally different culture to that of the people in urban, industrialized areas....   [tags: Seamus Heaney Poetry Poets Essays]

Powerful Essays
4016 words (11.5 pages)

Essay about Interpreting Poetry

- Interpreting Poetry Poetry is, more or less, up for interpretation. Most poetry is not written like a novel, it does not tell a specific story and give you all of the details you need to decipher it. A poem is there for the reader to interpret on his or her own. After recently reading Seamus Heaney’s poem, St. Kevin and the Blackbird, I have taken my own understanding of it, which could be completely different from any one of my classmates’ understandings. Coming from a Christian background, rather than a Catholic background, I will have a different interpretation than my Catholic classmates....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
402 words (1.1 pages)