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Few writers can boast such an impressive volume of work as Seamus Heaney has produced in the last thirty years: nineteen books of poetry, nine poetry pamphlets, two books of selected poems, one-book length verse translation, three collection of essays, one play, and two anthologies of poetry. And few writers in their lifet6ime achieve the kind of popularity and reputation that Seamus Heaney has" http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0231119275/ref=sib_rdr_ex/103-2?%5Fencoding=UF8&p=S008#reader-link
Seamus Heaney is one of those names, which cannot be neglected or avoided because he was one of the famous poets of the Irish literature. His contributions and achievements in this line of work are numerous and each one of them is simply amazing. Seamus had an inborn talent of writing on various topics and subjects, he visualized and observed his talent for writing and pursued it in the form of a career. Seamus Heaney's works are considered to be those works of…
The bog poems of Seamus Heaney have been read and reviewed in different ways: admiration as well as strong negative criticism characterize the ambivalent reaction of critics to these poems. The fact that they have received such attention indicates their significance, yet the satisfactorily exact evaluation of this significance is still far from being complete. The bog poems are often not treated as an organic group of poems" http://www.insite.hu/theanachronist/html/2001/dolmanyos.html
The theme of the poem clearly suggests that the poet has tried to draw the attention of the reader by presenting every valid detail of the young girl and the cruel actions, which was applied on her. The poem consists of many themes at one time and this actor lost the strength of the poem's message, which the poet wanted to convey to his readers. The diction shows that The first part of the poem is in the third person, the second part of the poem, although addressed in the second person to her - "Little adulteress... my poor scapegoat," the imagery and the allusion also is not consistent and in direct relation with the poet's ideas and thoughts.
The image of the body occupies most of the poem. It is mostly described in mteaphor and similie, and is composed of numerous sub-images. The body is first associated with a sea-storm, with wind, and "rigging," the descriptions emphasizing frailty. The images of the death itself are heavy, eg "the weighing stone," and the bog itself, which kill not only the girl but also "the floating rods and boughs." The imagery of the found body, although the tree metaphor continues, is more literal, the hair and bandage are visual descriptions." http://www.puzzling.org/writing/hsc/heaney.html
Seamus Heaney's poem "Digging" and Peter Meinke's poem "Advice to My Son" both address the idea of family and how it is essential for connections between members of the family to be strong. Even with this, they both deal with the matter from different perspectives. In addition to the obvious fact that one concentrates on showing a son's feeling toward his father and grandfather while the other involves a father's feelings toward his son, the poems are also different when considering the speaker's attitude toward his family. Heaney's speaker seems to accept his fate and to consider that it would be difficult and almost impossible for him to connect with his father and grandfather. In contrast, Meinke's speaker is enthusiastic about connecting with his son and actually provides him with advice in an attempt to have him better prepared to deal with life.
"Digging" initially presents the speaker at his…
nd indeed life was like the churning and stinking of the butter-making process. "Brains turned crystals full of clean deal churns"; this is the poet saying that living and thinking was a process like making butter; you have to have something of substance to begin with, then you have to make sure it is "clean" and finally, it is complete.
Poetic form "is both the ship and the anchor," Heaney stated in his Nobel lecture. Poetry holds the power to "persuade that vulnerable part of our consciousness of its rightness in spite of the evidence of wrongness all around it." nd when a poem like Churning Day is presented, it helps the reader in 2007 - while shopping at Safeway for a pound of butter in neat quarters - remember that butter was once made at home in an elaborate and smelly process, and that mothers got blistered hands and…
And indeed life was like the churning and stinking of the butter-making process. "Brains turned crystals full of clean deal churns"; this is the poet saying that living and thinking was a process like making butter; you have to have something of substance to begin with, then you have to make sure it is "clean" and finally, it is complete.
Poetic form "is both the ship and the anchor," Heaney stated in his Nobel lecture. Poetry holds the power to "persuade that vulnerable part of our consciousness of its rightness in spite of the evidence of wrongness all around it." And when a poem like Churning Day is presented, it helps the reader in 2007 - while shopping at Safeway for a pound of butter in neat quarters - remember that butter was once made at home in an elaborate and smelly process, and that mothers got blistered hands and aching arms so the family could enjoy their meal.
While war was very much in evidence in young Heaney's life, it is also very much a part of the news in present day life. And though it is a very different war fought for very different reasons than WWII was fought, the taste of butter has remained the same.
Digging" by Seamus Heaney and "Father and Son" by Stanley Kunitz
Comparative analysis of the poems "Digging" by Seamus Heaney and "Father and Son" by Stanley Kunitz showed that though both poems had used similar themes in discussing the father and son relationships of the two authors with their respective fathers, the utilization of poetic elements such as tone and diction, symbolism, and denotation and connotation greatly differed.
In discussing the use of connotation and denotation in both poems, there are marked differences between the two authors' interpretation of their experiences with their respective fathers. Denotation used in "Digging" showed that the poem was about the author's reminiscing of his relationship with his father, as well as his grandfather. Similarly, Kunitz in "Father and Son" demonstrated a similar objective. Manifested in both poems were narratives that reflects the kind of relationship they had with their fathers. For Heaney, his relationship…
Going further with the analysis, it could be stated that the Irish get answers to their dilemmas from their own cultural identity (which is nourished by the best values).
The previous idea of Ireland being eternal is supported by the view according to which its history stretches to immemorial times: "Every layer they strip/Seems camped on before./The bogholes might be Atlantic seepage./The wet centre is bottomless" (Heaney, 25-28). The fact that the centre is wet suggests the constant and eternal vitality of existence's root. The values of the people living in ogland can not get weary because they have such a solid source.
If ogland is the place where the poet comes from, in Yeats' case, Innisfree is the place where he wishes to escape. The environment is simple and just like in the poem analyzed above, the island is a symbol of freedom. In addition, the isolation allows the…
Meredith, D. "Landscape or mindscape? Seamus Heaney's Bogs," Retrieved October 11, 2010 from http://18.104.22.168/~geograph/irishgeography/v32-2/bogs.pdf
Heaney, Seamus. "Bogland"
Yeats, W.B. "The Lake Island of Innisfree"
Because society compromises the value of the woman, it is allowed the life of domesticity and life. The speaker however remains forever beyond this because she chooses self-realization instead.
In Heaney's "Punishment," feminism can be seen from the male viewpoint, as it were. The corpse of a bog girl, an adulteress, educates the narrator regarding issues of gender and politics. The narrator, far from the conventional male reaction of disgust, instead becomes infatuated with her. It is as if he is the male representative of the feminist viewpoint; that women offer value and education rather than objects of sex or symbols of domesticity. The intimacy between the speakers involve no blame. Instead of man and woman, they are equals, in strong contrast with the society that would condemn them both for their actions and their association.
Academy of American Poets. A Close Reading of "I Cannot Live With You."…
The message of the poem is the longing for life and youth. In this case as well the images have a strong symbolical dimension, the light must be understood as life and youth, whereas the night as death and decay. Just as the title suggests it, there are people who will not easily accept their fate. "Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, / And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way, / Do not go gentle into that good night" (Thomas, 10-12). Wild is a state of mind and the sun in flight is a symbol of freedom and creation. The imagery creates spiritual landscapes which unite the poet and the reader.
Shakespeare in his sonnet "My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun" makes a clear opposition between elements of nature and parts of the body of the woman he loves. On the…
Heaney, Seamus. "Bogland"
Shakespeare, W. "My Mistress' Eyes are Nothing like the Sun"
Thomas, D. "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night"
Yeats, W.B. "The Lake Island of Innisfree"
For example, the word "ring" connotes a wedding ring and it also refers more directly to the "ring of boots" at her feet. The word "lifted" also has a double meaning, one literal and one metaphorical. The mother remembers literally lifting her baby boy in the bathtub, but she contemplates how he is being "lifted" or stolen by his fiance. Her baby boy is leaving her. The word "bedded" also connotes two different things, suggesting both sex but also finality as she describes the feeling wedding ring being permanently em-bedded on a person's finger.
6. The first stanza of Agha Shahid Ali's poem "Postcard from Kashmir" is filled with hope and optimism, delivered mainly by the word "neat." Written from a youthful perspective, the word "neat" is often used as slang like the word "cool" is. Moreover, the word "neat" is used to described his humble yet poor home. The…
A deep and horrifying malaise hangs over
the images described here. To be sure, it seems that there is something
more than just the changing of the seasons which affects the speaker and
which afflicts his perspective so dramatically. He tells that "Then one
hot day when fields were rank / ith cowdung in the grass the angry frogs /
Invaded the flax-dam; I ducked through hedges / To a coarse croaking that I
had not heard / Before." (Heaney, 1)
This is a moment of ominous dread. The optimistic cycle where death
had given way to life in the first stanza-a decidedly naturalist embrace of
the wonder that is life-is now described as a threatening and mysterious
force somewhat beyond the comprehension or experience of the young speaker.
The language becomes decidedly more aggressive and far bleaker, describing
'gross-bellied frogs,' with a 'slap and plop' like 'obscene threats.' He…
Forbes, C. (2005). Seamus Heaney. Poetry Archive. Online at
Heaney, S. (1991). Death of a Naturalist. Faber and Faber.
Ireland, C. (2008). Heaney 'catches the heart off guard.' Harvard
Irish poetry is unavoidably shaped by its historical, social, and political context. The Troubles have infiltrated poets throughout several generations, permitting unique artistic insight into the conflict. Younger poets writing about The Troubles in Northern Ireland understandably have a different point-of-view than poets from a previous generation. Their personal experiences were different, and the historical events they witnessed or were surrounded by in the media likewise differed from their predecessors. Yet there are also shared themes that provide the inextricable cultural links between all poets of Northern Ireland. Some poets, like Seamus Heaney, rely heavily on literalism and a direct political commentary in addition to poetic tropes like symbols of colonization. Likewise, Derek Mahon does not hold back in terms of diction related to The Troubles. hen examining poets from an earlier generation, who wrote during some of the most violent occasions of The Troubles, allusions and metaphors seem to…
Kearney, Timothy, Hewitt, John and Montague, John. "Beyond the Planter and the Gael: Interview with John Hewitt and John Montague on Northern Poetry and The Troubles." The Crane Bag. Vol. 4, No. 2 p. 85-92, 1980/1981.
Beowulf and the Anglo-Saxons
Part 1: Introduction
Although the epic Old English poem Beowulf has all the characteristics of myth and legend that pertain to fiction, as a historical document it is useful in teaching about the past—the values and culture of the medieval Anglo-Saxon society and how Christian culture intersected with the pagan world at a time when Christian conversion was spreading. Not only does Beowulf refer to real kings of the time, thus grounding the story in a specific historical reality, but it also describes a culture of co-existence—an old world people and place situated neatly between paganism and Christianity. As an epic poem Beowulf describes the heroic journey of the titular character as he accepts the challenge of Hrothgar to defend his Hall against the monster Grendel. Beowulf defeats the monster and then must face the wrath of Grendel’s mother. Many decades after his victory over Grendel’s…
The most important structural changes in this second draft are the removal of passive voice and the creation of a complete these, so the paragraph stands alone, as an introduction.
Poetry can be quickly developed and then easily smuggled out of any situation in the coat pocket of the writer or even written years later in memory of an event where life and/or liberty had been lost. This power is left the poet; to recount atrocity and build ideas associated with awareness for social change. The reader can then respond emotionally or even actively, by envisioning and challenging the ideas in the work or by taking action to change them in the future. It can remind the reader of a needed demand for social and political change and an expression of the debasement of individual rights, that can be applied to other situations. The images that poetry conveys…
When Grendel tries to attack the place, it is seen as the attack of chaos aimed at structure and order. "Then a powerful demon, a prowler in the dark, / nursed a hard grievance" (86-87). Grendel is not an intelligent enemy but he is definitely powerful. His immense power turns him into a dangerous force since reason doesn't reside inside him. The hall was a symbol of civilization as the poet informs us: "inside Heorot / there was nothing but friendship" (1017-1018). Thus hall has immense symbolic value in the book and is aptly described as the "greatest house / in the world" (145-146).
Beowulf is perfectly aware of the importance of Heorot. He knows that by saving the place, and defeating Grendel, he could actually be presented with the greatest house on earth. In a passage, he acknowledges the worth and value of this place:
The men hurried forward,…
Alvin a. Lee, "Heorot and the Guest-Hall of Eden: Symbolic Metaphor and the Design of Beowulf," in the Guest-Hall of Eden: Four Essays on the Design of Old English Poetry, Yale University Press, 1972, pp. 171-223.
Jennifer Neville, Representations of the Natural World in Old English Poetry (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1999)
Thomas Greene. The Norms of Epic," Comparative Literature 13 (1961), 193-207
Halverson, John."The World of Beowulf."ELH 36:4 (1969): 593-608.Rpt. In Readings on Beowulf. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1998
El Cid and Medieval History
Medieval Spain was a constant battlefield where Christians and Moors fought constantly. The Moors had invaded Spain in the early stages of the 7th century and remained in control of the area well into what are now known as the Middle Ages. The Moors had begun their campaign in Europe intent upon conquering the entire continent but had been stopped at the Pyrenees by Charles the Hammer. Nevertheless, the Moors remained in Spain for over 700 years and their influence on Spanish culture remains evident to this very day. These influences include the Spanish language and its architecture.
In the course of over 700 years many legends and tails arise both fictional and real. When these legends and tails begin, at least when they are based upon living characters, they tend to accurately reflect the conditions and events as they occurred. As time progresses, however,…
Fletcher, Richard, The Quest for El Cid, Oxford, Oxford University Press (1991)
Heaney, Seamus (translator), Beowulf: A Verse Translation, New York, W.W. Norton & Company, new edition (2002)
Sayers, Dorothy L.(translator), The Song of Roland, New York, Penguin Classics (1957)
Simpson, Lesley B (translator)., The Poem of the Cid, 2nd Ed., Berkeley, University of California Press (2007)
Meanwhile, the deranged viewers walk among the police officers who take notes, wash down the street of it blood, sweep up glass. Another metaphor likens the hanging "lanterns on the wrecks that clings, Empty husks of locust, to iron poles." With locusts, what was once green and lush, becomes brown and barren. Here, what was just minutes ago a living, breathing body, becomes dead and inert.
And what is the reaction of the voyeurs to this sight? Was it what they wanted, hoped to see? Now the onlookers look just like patients, "Our throats were tight as tourniquets, Our feet were bound with splints, but now, Like convalescents intimate and gauche..." However, worse yet, is the horror of recognition that there is no reason why one person lives and another dies. This is the lesson for the day: This person could have been good or evil, a friend or foe,…
Shapiro, Karl. New and Selected Poems 1940-1986. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987.
. . "
"I don't recall having sold the house," Ned said, "and the girls are at home."
In the narration Ned continues on his journey home. Once he is home it is revealed that his house is indeed empty and his wife and daughters are gone. This is just one example of the conflict that exist in this narration between was is reality and what is illusion.
In addition to this aspect of conflict in The Swimmer, there is also a great deal of conflict associated with Ned's ability to swim across the county. This conflict exist because Ned also drank strong alcoholic beverages throughout his journey. It would have been next to impossible for him to swim after he had consumed just a few of these drinks. This is an obvious conflict that would have hindered his journey but the author presents it as fact and not…
Cheever, J. 1954. The Five-Forty-Eight
Cheever, J. 1964. The Swimmer
Cheever, J. 1957. The Wapshot Chronicles. New York: Harper,
Cheever, J. The Angel of the Bridge
Sir Gawain cuts off the knight's head, and the knight leaves, with a promise from Gawain to extract his pledge next year.
Gawain, true to form, finds the Green Knight's abode and resides there, waiting and dreading the final strike. All the while, the Green Knight's wife makes attempts to seduce Gawain. Yet although the woman is apparently false (later, this is shown to be a deliberately staged test of Gawain's chaste honor to his host) Gawain is true to his values and the honor owed to even a less than hospitable host. For his valor of spirit as well as his manly courage, the Green Knight spares Gawain. But as inspiring as this story may be in terms of knightly valor, it is noteworthy that the female body, unlike the male body is never tested -- rather it is only a sexual test for Gawain, or a symbol of…
Anonymous. "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight." New York: Knopf, 2003.
The statement "Maybe that room was his home, his room and everything what left from it is a wall and a fly" made me think about how an intelligent young child must feel when something senseless like bombing changes their life. After reading your essay, I searched for more of Simic's poetry to read because you found a way to make his words make sense.
The same is true for Tadijanovic's poetry, because your essay pointed out so many interesting connections between his work and Simic's. By choosing to highlight Tadijanovic's beautiful poem "Evening Over the City," you showed how one man's memories of warfare and conflict in their childhood can differ from another. When you discussed the concept of nostalgia, I thought this observation was extremely accurate because only powerful emotions like this can inspire great poetry. Both Simic and Tadijanovic were affected deeply by nostalgia for their homelands,…
Speaking of the United States, for example, since 9/11, there has been an increased in intolerance regarding Muslims. This prejudice toward Muslims has also sparked increased intolerance for Christian people, as Christianity is the dominant religion in America and is the religion most often associated with American culture. 1492 is also the fabled year with the Spanish armada arrived on the shores of what we know now as the United States of America. Therefore this film is a strong choice as it is an intersection of the history of the country and the history of my family.
How we remember our world, national, and personal history is often closely related to the geography and nature of the spaces wherein we lived and migrated to. These are the connections that I see among the texts by Nabokov, Bishop, and "The Passion of Joshua the Jew." These issues from history continue to…
Bishop, Elizabeth. Geography III. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008.
McAlpine, Erica Levy. "Elizabeth Bishop and the Aesthetic Uses of Defense." Literary Imagination, 14.3 (2012): 333-350.
Nabokov, Vladamir. Speak, Memoryu. New York: First Vintage International Edition, 1989.
Petit, Laurence. "SPEAK, PHOTOGRAPHS? VISUAL TRANSPARENCY and VERBAL OPACITY in NABOKOV'S SPEAK, MEMORY." (2012).
Fern Hill (Dylan Thomas)
The "Poetry Explications" handout from UNC states that a poetry explication is a "relatively short analysis which describes the possible meanings and relationship of the words, images, and other small units that make up a poem."
The speaker in "Fern Hill" dramatically embraces memories from his childhood days at his uncle's farm, when the world was innocent; the second part brings out the speaker's loss of innocence and transition into manhood. This explication will identify and critique Thomas' tone, imagery (including metaphors) and expressive language (as it contributes to the power of the poem). ("Fern Hill" uses 6 verse paragraphs; there are 9 lines in each paragraph.)
"Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs / About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green / the night above the dingle starry / time let me hail and climb / golden…
Bible Meanings. (2011). Lamb. Retrieved December 9, 2012, from http://www.biblemeanings.info/words/animal/lamb.htm.
Cox, C.B. (1959). Dylan Thomas's 'Fern Hill.' The Critical Quarterly, 1(2), 134-138.
Thomas, Dylan. (2012). Fern Hill. Academy of American Poets. Retrieved December 9, 2012,
from http://www.poets.org .