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). Living in the “bogland” as Heaney has described Northern Ireland left an imprint on his poems, as he often depicts the lush green countryside and pastoral scenes of his youth. However, he also acknowledges his modern society. His poems strike a balance between showing the land as it naturally is and acknowledging the influence of society pressing inwards. This certain “splitness” is a theme that carries throughout his life, and so is shown in his art. Living in Ulster, he was raised in a culture with a deep religious cleft in it. His poetry shows how keenly aware he is of the delicate intricacies formed between Catholic and Protestant Irish peoples. Similarly his language reflects “splitness.” His diction can be colloquial and open, full of throaty and blunt words and simple imagery, or it can become lofty, as he utilizes his command of the rich and complex English language. In his works he makes references both to old Irish stories and songs as well as quoting from classic works of literature. His poems alternate between an understated bitterness and anger, to celebration and praise of his friends, family and life. He moves easily from a foreboding, dark tone to words of courage and affirmation. Heaney has b...
... middle of paper ...
Andrews, Elmer. Seamus Heaney A Collection of Critical Essays. St. Martins Press, . . New York. 1992.
Bolton, Jonathan. “’Customary Rhythms’: Seamus Heaney and the Rite of Poetry.” . . Papers on Language and Literature, Spring 37:2 (2001): 205-214.
Buttel, Robert. “Seamus Heaney.” Dictionary of Literary Biography. Ed. Vincent B. . . Sherry, Jr. Gale Research Co.: Detroit, Michigan. 1998. 178-201.
Morrison, Blake. Seamus Heaney. Methuen & Co., New York, NY 1982.
Parker, Michael. Seamus Heaney: The Making of the Poet. University of Iowa Press, . Iowa City 1993.
Quinlan, Kieran. “Tracing Seamus Heaney.” World Literature Today, Winter 96:1 . . (1995): 63-74.
Vendler, Helen. Seamus Heaney. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts. . 1998.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- 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.... [tags: Seamus Heaney Poets Poems Essays]
3054 words (8.7 pages)
- 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]
1104 words (3.2 pages)
- Heaney is not typically a political poet, with nonpartisan themes prominent in his poetry. However, he breaks this image in Act of Union, along with Whatever You Say, Say Nothing, branching into more political themes. The cause of this was largely due to the Troubles in Ireland from the early 1960s, which largely affected Heaney due to his role as a Northern Irish poet. He was also pressured by many journalists on his view, which is described in Whatever You Say, Say Nothing. Although Act of Union is unmistakably one of Heaney’s most political poems, it subtly delivers the message of Heaney’s outlook on the Troubles through the dramatic monologue of England, introducing an ambiguous person... [tags: Poetry of Seamus Heaney]
1130 words (3.2 pages)
- 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]
3770 words (10.8 pages)
- 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]
1856 words (5.3 pages)
- 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]
4016 words (11.5 pages)
- The Importance of Exile in the Poetry of Seamus Heaney To be a poet in a culture obsessed with politics is a risky business. Investing poetry with the heavy burden of public meaning only frustrates its flight: however tempting it is to employ one's poetic talent in the service of a program or an ideology, the result usually has little to do with poetry. This is not to condemn the so-called "literature of engagement"; eye-opening and revealing, it has served its purpose in the unfinished story of our century, and now is certainly no time to call for the poet's retreat into the "ivory tower" of the self.... [tags: Biography Biographies Essays Heaney]
2858 words (8.2 pages)
- Death of Naturalist by Seamus Heaney The poem "Death of Naturalist" was written by a well known Irish poet Seamus Heaney. The title "Death of a Naturalist" gives us a sense of loss. The opening line "All year the flax-dam festered in the heart" gives us specific detail like in Blackberry picking. The alliteration in the first line such as flax-dom and festered links in with the second stanza. Flax-dom is an onomatopoeia and festered has association of sickness and decay. It contrasts with the happy description in the first stanza when he recalls collecting the frogspawn.... [tags: Death of Naturalist Seamus Heaney Essays]
664 words (1.9 pages)
- Analysis of Blackberry Picking by Seamus Heaney Once the reader can passes up the surface meaning of the poem Blackberry-Picking, by Seamus Heaney, past the emotional switch from sheer joy to utter disappointment, past the childhood memories, the underlying meaning can be quite disturbing. Hidden deep within the happy-go-lucky rifts of childhood is a disturbing tale of greed and murder. Seamus Heaney, through clever diction, ghastly imagery, misguided metaphors and abruptly changing forms, ingeniously tells the tale that is understood and rarely spoken aloud.... [tags: Blackberry Picking Seamus Heaney Essays]
975 words (2.8 pages)
- Abstract This research takes a postmodern approach to Seamus Heaney's two poems: Bogland and The Tollund Man. The evidences in the research bring illuminations to the significant issues of postmodern concept. Heaney's poetry was studied in myth, politics and revolutionary movement in the area of Irish classical poetry. Recently, his poems are considered as postmodern. To answer that how much his poems are traditional, modern or postmodern is the aim of this project. Key Words: postmodernism, myth, imagery, technique, poetry, deadly, violence, corpse, bog, imagination, freedom.... [tags: Seamus Heaney Poetry Postmodern]
2849 words (8.1 pages)