How Does Seamus Heaney Write About Nature

, Compared With At Least One Pre-1900 Poet Essay, Research Paper

Heaney addresses many aspects of naturein his writing. In the poems

that I have read, he encounters such things as man?s relationship with nature,

what he believes nature may be, and where in nature he thinks man belongs.After reading poems by Heaney, Wordsworth and Hopkins, I

feel that they try convey the idea of nature being beautiful to the reader,

something that in it?s untouched wildness can still look astounding and

marvellous, without being altered or changed in any way. It is this beauty

found in nature?s wildness which causes the writers to also relay the idea that

nature can sometimes be threatening.?In Wordsworth?s? ?Prelude?, the reader is greeted by scenes

of a calm and serene summer?s evening. This effect is given by phrases such as

?Leaving behind her still, on either side / Small circles glittering idly in

the moon.? Then the writer decides to steal a boat and go out rowing on the

lake. As he is rowing and he moves away from a mountain at the side of the

lake, another mountain behind it begins to appear, at night, in the dark

Wordsworth does not know that it is a mountain, instead he describes it as some

sort of ?monster?, as if it was a creature of the deep, a creature doing

nature?s bidding to punish him from stealing, or maybe even nature itself. In

which case he personifies nature as this ?monster? with phrases like ?motion

like a living thing / Strode after me.? What would be seen as a quite spectacular

mountain by some in the middle of the day, can also be threatening to men, not

only at night to Wordsworth, but also to climbers, for example, caught in harsh

weather conditions unable to descend it. In Wordsworth?s case however he describes nature as a living

breathing ?thing? which reacts to man?s behaviour and responds as it sees fit.In ?Death of a Naturalist? and ?Blackberry Picking? Heaney

also describes nature in this way. In both poems Heaney describes scenes form

his childhood. We know this because he uses language like ? daddy frog?, ?mammy

frog? and ?You could tell the weather by frogs too.? Emphasis here on the word

?too? as it is an unnecessary? ?postfix?

of childish nature. The poems have two distinct sections to them. In the first

section nature and man interact and we see pleasant childhood scenes. This

effect is created by the use of words and phrases such as ?flax-dam festered?,

?rotted? and ?warm thick slobber? in ?Death of a Naturalist?. These things

obviously please Heaney, as they would please any young boy, dirtiness and

muckiness, they are the sort of things go hand in hand with young boys. In

?Blackberry Picking? some of the words and phrases used which describe the

juiciness of the blackberries are, ?glossy purple clot?, ?summers blood was in

it?, ?flesh was sweet? and ?the red ones inked up,? all telling of the

freshness and ripeness of the blackberries with no trace of imperfections. In

the second distinct section the poems change dramatically and nature changes

from peaceful and beautiful to threatening. In ?Death of a Naturalist? Heaney

describes the frogs like an army that has come to seek revenge on him from

stealing their unborn young, ?The great slime kings/ Were gathered there for

vengeance.? This is done by words and phrases such as ?the angry frogs/ Invaded

the flax-dam?, ?cocked?, ?poised like mud grenades? and ?ducked.?


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