Seamus Heaney

Michael and Rebecca

1939 ‡ Lived on family farm in County Derry ‡Attended St. a theatre company founded by Brian Friel and Stephen Real ‡Adapted a version of Sophocles· Philoctetes ‡In 1984.Biography ‡ Born April 13. Joseph·s College ‡ Married Marie Devlin and had three children. and Kathryn Ann ‡ Published Eleven Poems in 1965 with the Belfast Festival ‡ Became renown after publishing Death of A Naturalist ‡Honored with the Poetry Book Society Choice of the year award for Door into the Dark ‡ Joined Field Day. Michael. he was named Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory. Christopher. one of Harvard·s most prestigious offices ‡Won Nobel Peace Prize in Literature in 1995 .

Heaney·s Work as a Whole ‡ His parent·s diverse background included the traditional Gaelic farm life and the up and coming Industrial Revolution. ‡ This inner quarrel became a conflict between his childhood innocence versus his place as an adult in society. ‡ His passion towards his native country of Ireland serves as a reference point for many of his poems. . often alluding to Greek gods and figures ‡ Many of Heaney·s poems serve as his way to discover his place as a writer in a world where physical action is the traditionally accepted symbol of strength. which led to an inner quarrel. ‡ Heaney uses literary allusion throughout his poems. ‡ Heaney explores what it is to be a human being during times of joy and times of struggle.

When you dragged out long roots from the soft mulch A white face hovered over the bottom. gave back your own call With a clean new music in it. with a rotted board top. Now. As a child. in a brickyard. A shallow one under a dry stone ditch Fructified like any aquarium. to set the darkness echoing. into some spring Is beneath all adult dignity. they could not keep me from wells And old pumps with buckets and windlasses. for there.for Michael Longley Personal Helicon I rhyme to see myself. to pry into roots. One. I rhyme To see myself. the trapped sky. To stare. out of ferns and tall Foxgloves. Others had echoes. a rat slapped across my reflection. the smells Of waterweed. And one Was scaresome. To set the darkness echoing. So deep you saw no reflection in it. I loved the dark drop. to finger slime. fungus and dank moss. I savored the rich crash when a bucket Plummeted down at the end of a rope. big-eyed Narcissus. .

Analysis of Personal Helicon ‡ In Greek mythology. ‡ Heaney·s optimistic language can be juxtaposed with the connotations associated with his dark topic. ‡ Personal Helicon is a means for Heaney to communicate his internal emotions and illuminate the negative aspects of life. He uses his poetry as compensation for lost childhood experiences. a Greek figure obsessed with his reflection. . This parallels Heaney·s captivation with his lost childhood. ‡ Heaney explores the conflict between the freedom of youth and society·s expectations of adults. His passionate way of describing the dank and dark is ironic. ‡ Heaney alludes to Narcissus. Mount Helicon was sacred to Apollo and the Muses.

chary and excited. A vacuum of need Collapsed each hunting heart But tremulously we held As hawk and prey apart. As a thrush liked on a hawk. Our Juvenilia Had taught us both to wait. In suede flats for the walk.Twice Shy Her scarf a la Bardot. Traffic holding its breath. Sky a tense diaphragm: Dusk hung like a backcloth That shook where a swan swam. Preserved classic decorum. We crossed the quiet river. Not to publish feeling And regret it all too late Mushroom loves already Had puffed and burst in hate. We thrilled to the March twilight With nervous childish talk: Still waters running deep Along the embankment walk. Tremulous as a hawk Hanging deadly. So. Deployed our talk with art. calm. . Took the embankment walk. She came with me one evening For air and friendly talk.

. ‡ Underscoring the poem. ‡ Heaney uses imagery to express the picturesque image of love. ‡ The entire second stanza is characterized by personification of the lovers· surroundings. ‡ Heaney uses diction that would normally express the innocence of love to convey a darker message. ‡ He draws a parallel between new romances and childlike relationships. ‡ Discusses the purity of the unspoken in terms of love. is the idea that love is ephemeral.Analysis of Twice Shy ‡ This poem approaches the essence of love in a shy and tentative way.

already homesick For the big lift of these evenings. And if I spy into its golden loops I see us walk between the railway slopes Into an evening of long grass and midges. An auction notice on an outhouse wall-You with a harvest bow in your lapel. . Gleaning the unsaid off the palpable. A throwaway love-knot of straw. Hands that aged round ashplants and cane sticks And lapped the spurs on a lifetime of game cocks Harked to their gift and worked with fine intent Until your fingers moved somnambulant: I tell and finger it like braille. but flushes Nothing: that original townland Still tongue-tied in the straw tied by your hand. old beds and ploughs in hedges. The end of art is peace Could be the motto of this frail device That I have pinned up on our deal dresser-Like a drawn snare Slipped lately by the spirit of the corn Yet burnished by its passage. Blue smoke straight up. as your stick Whacking the tips off weeds and bushes Beats out of time.Harvest Bow As you plaited the harvest bow You implicated the mellowed silence in you In wheat that does not rust But brightens as it tightens twist by twist Into a knowable corona. and still warm. and beats. Me with the fishing rod.

‡ This poem once again elaborates on the theme of a lost childhood. ‡ His dad·s many talents reveal the similarity between Heaney·s talent and passion as a writer. . ‡ Rather than viewing this loss as a negative thing.Analysis of Harvest Bow ‡ In this poem. The memories of times with his father are sweeter than his current position in a cruel world. Heaney develops the idea that the relationship between a child and their parents is the most crucial development of childhood. Heaney makes it clear that the bond between father and son can not be dissipated by mere time or knowledge of the real world. ‡ Heaney uses a description of the wheat as a metaphor to describe the unbreakable bond between their relationship. ‡ Heaney elaborates on the idea that artistic tendencies exist between families which is a stronger bond then words that can be formed on paper.

But I've no spade to follow men like them. comes up twenty years away Stooping in rhythm through potato drills Where he was digging. He straightened up To drink it. the curt cuts of an edge Through living roots awaken in my head. the old man could handle a spade. He rooted out tall tops. Digging. The cold smell of potato mold. digging down and down For the good turf. buried the bright edge deep To scatter new potatoes that we picked Loving their cool hardness in our hands. My grandfather could cut more turf in a day Than any other man on Toner's bog. Just like his old man. digging. By God. Between my finger and my thumb The squat pen rests. I'll dig with it. Once I carried him milk in a bottle Corked sloppily with paper. then fell to right away Nicking and slicing neatly. . the squelch and slap Of soggy peat. the shaft Against the inside knee was levered firmly. The coarse boot nestled on the lug. heaving sods Over his shoulder. Under my window a clean rasping sound When the spade sinks into gravelly ground: My father. I look down Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds Bends low.Digging Between my finger and my thumb The squat pen rests. as snug as a gun.

‡ Heaney uses repetition in the first and last stanza to show his realization that his writing can serve as a way to discover the roots of his past. ‡ Heaney appeals to his audience through the use of onomatopoeia to make his descriptions more vivid. ‡ Heaney explore the parallelism between his father and grandfather·s strength as working men and his place as a writer. ‡ The poem serves as an extended metaphor for revealing the roots of Heaney·s past through the power of his writing. .Analysis of Digging ‡ The poem explores the respect Heaney holds for his heritage.

1991 ² A version of Sophocles· Philoctetes THE BURIAL AT THEBES.Bibliography ‡ ‡ ELEVEN POEMS. WINTERING OUT. 1986 ² A series of sonnets that presents stark images of the spaces death leaves between us. DEATH OF A NATURALIST. 1979 ² A poem exploiting a political situation in Northern Ireland from Heaney·s Catholic standpoint. ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Complete List of Works . presenting the debates surrounding the poets work and popular appeal. 2004 ² A version of Sophocles· Antigone THE POETRY OF SEAMUS HEANEY by ELEMER ANDREWS ² Collection of critical responses to Seamus Heaney·s poetry. 1975 ² A series of poems that studies the political and social situation in his native Northern Ireland. 1978-1987 ² An anthology discussing societal divisions among religion and politics and his struggle between creative freedom and social obligations ‡ ‡ FIELD WORK. 1966 ² A poem discussing childhood experiences through revelations in nature. GOVERNMENT OF THE TONGUE: SELECTED PROSE. THE CURE AT TROY. 1972 ² A collection of poems that explores the ´radical connection between the land and the language it nurtures. 1965 ² A pamphlet that coincided with the Belfast Festival. CLEARANCES.´ BOG POEMS. through the use of euphemisms.

Works Cited ‡ Audio Interviews .Seamus Heaney ‡ Books and Writers ‡ Harvard University Press/Seamus Heaney ‡ Interview with Seamus Heaney ‡ Literary Allusion and the Poetry of Seamus Heaney ‡ Seamus Heaney-Cover Page ‡ Themes in Seamus Heaney's Poetry ‡ The Seamus Heaney Page ‡ The Seamus Heaney Portal .

that our very solitudes and distresses are creditable. is crucial to poetry's power to do the thing which always is and always will be to poetry's credit: the power to persuade that vulnerable part of our consciousness of its rightness in spite of the evidence of wrongness all around it. in other words. the power to remind us that we are hunters and gatherers of values. too. in so far as they.µ -Heaney . are an earnest of our veritable human being.ENJOY YOUR COOKIES!!!! ´The form of the poem.

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