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Heaney and Clarke & Pre ­ 1914 poetry

Seamus Heaney
Storm on the Island
Humans prepare for a storm.
The storm can neither be seen nor touched.
Its effects are profound.

This poem opens with a simple statement storms are not unusual and the
people who live on the…

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Elements of air, earth and water.
Heaney's other poems

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Death of a Naturalist
Seamus Heaney would visit the flax dam to collect frogspawn
He particularly enjoyed watching it develop under the guidance of his
However on a return visit, he is overwhelmed by a sense of fear.
He feels threatened by the frogs that live there.


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the weather. They are `slime kings ... gathered there for vengeance' against
the boy who collected the spawn.

The first verse is similar to the image presented by ` John Clare' in his ` Sonnet'
but as the poem develops there is the sudden intrusion of a different

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even further back in time, to consider his grandfather. He cut the peat that
keeps his family warm. The sloppy way that he took him his milk is contrasted
with the neat precision of his work. It was the work which kept him in touch with
the earth. This is…

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to be servants of the machine, their heads bowing almost in worship. They
hope that the machine that reveals the potatoes will keep the famine away and
so they will serve it . The hard physical labour of bending and picking is
described. The earth is the `black mother' ,…

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harvest. The doubt however is always there, the ground is `faithless'. The blight
could return and devastate their lives once more, so their careless spills are
like and offering to god to help the famine stay away.

The metrical arrangement of the poem serves to underline the poet's meaning.…

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space of what happened in it ` I wrote/ all over the walls with my words.' Birth
creates two separate individuals where previously there was one, but the
struggle is a tender one, because their love will always connect them. Birth is a
physical separation but iis not an emotional…

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This is connected with the Good Friday peace negotiations in Northern
Gillian Clarke helps deliver the lamb.
She is surprised when a second lamb appears unexpectedly.
As usual with Clarke the first sentence clearly establishes the context of the
poem. An old ewe is about to give birth…

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like the old ewe, old, barren and tired. Suddenly on Good Fruday there is
promise of new life. Everything could have gone wrong . The lamb could have
died the peace process could have collapsed but `the stone rolled away' just
as the stone rolled away from Christ's tomb, indicating…


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