Death of a Naturalist

The final line betrays the extent of Heaney’s childish fear. He believed that if he ‘dipped [his] hand the spawn would clutch it’.

Form and Structure • The poem is written as two sections of blank verse (unrhymed iambic pentameter).

Comparative Ideas


This poem is about childhood fear and so could usefully be compared to The Barn. It is about strength of feeling and memory so could be compared with a variety of the other poems in the collection. It is about a moment of decision / realisation and so could be compared to Mid-Term Break, Once Upon a Time, The Road not taken, I Shall Paint my Nails Red.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful