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  • Death of a Naturalist Seamus Heaney
    • 1: Awe and wonder in nature
      • "Bubbles gargled delicately."
        • Onomatopoeic language creates a vivid impression of these memorable sounds.
        • Caesura used emphasizes slowness to fast moving bluebottles, showing Heaney's fascination.
        • "Gargled delicately" is an oxymoron which highlights a sense of beauty in nature's counter intuition and coarseness. May foreshadow something sinister.
      • "Bluebottles wove a strong gauze of sound."
        • Synesthesia of the sound of flies thickening the air, as well as the smell of the flax creating an almost tangible haze.
        • Anthropomorphism of bluebottles "weaving a gauze" grants even insignificant creatures a fascinating quality that Heaney finds awe in observing.
    • 2: Nature births naivety and innocence
      • "But best of all was the warm thick slobber"
        • Antithesis of something revolting with being the "best of all." Superlative highlights how his naivety makes him blind to the rotting smells.
      • "The daddy frog was called a bullfrog/ and how he croaked and how the mammy frog..."
        • Enjambment overwhelms the reader with a cute explanation of a frog's reproduction.
          • Lots of lighthearted, childish euphemism show the narrator to be innocent and naive.
        • Lexis "daddy" and "mammy" emphasizes a childish tone with innocent simplification.
      • "For they were yellow in the sun and brown/ In rain."
        • Iambic pentameter further expresses a seemingly magical fact for young Heaney.
        • Sentence fragment "in rain" suggests an ominous feel as his long stanza of joy comes to an end. Pathetic fallacy builds up a feeling of nostalgia, or a change in attitude.
    • 3: Nature is vengeful and disgusting.
      • "Poised like mud grenades... I sickened, turned and ran."
        • Simile is a direct contrast to the frogs that made new life, to grenades that take life away. Military imagery evokes feelings of fear.
        • Rule of three outlines total fear and disgust as the naturalist "dies."
      • "Great slime kings were gathered for vengeance."
        • "Daddy frog" transforms in parallel to the boy in being hostile to humans as Heaney is intimidated by what he was once fascinated by.
        • Anthropomorphism of royalty may be symbolic of how Heaney no longer has power in a place central to him.
    • CONTEXT: Born and raised in N, Ireland in a rural county. Most of his poetry is based on the countryside and related to loss of innocence due to the death of his infant brother at a young age.


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