Literature Poems

Heaney and Clarke poems and Pre 1914 poetry bank poems.

Key themes



Comparisons and links

  • Created by: kiah
  • Created on: 23-05-11 16:00

Storm on the Island - Heaney

Theme: Nature as an Enemy

Tone: Positive up to line 5, then turns negetive with contrast throughout

Imagery: "Nor are the trees which might prove company" - shelter, but there are no trees due to poor soil because of the storms - "no stacks or stooks", this shows expereince of the storms, also "Sea is company" - personification.

Contrasts: " The flung spray hits the very windows, spits like a tame cat turned savage." - violent sea contrast the comforting sea, nothing to protect the homes - nature is stronger.

"Empty air" - Questioning the power of wind, you cannot see the storm coming, has no feeling.

 "Wind dives and strafes", "we are bombarded" War imagery, battering the island. "we are" Shows that the Irish are sticking together.

Comparisions: Heaney - Death of a Naturlist - Nature as an enemy - Clarke - The field mouse - Pre 1914 - Patrolling Barnegat, nautical - Sonnet - contrast

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Death of a Naturalist - Heaney

Theme: nature as an enemy and loss of childhood innocence.

Tone: First stanza positive - positive, with negetive language, Second stanza negetive "coarse croaking". 1st person child narrative "I would"

Imagery: "heavy headed" alliteration - innocent. " and wait and watch until"

Negetive language, "punishing sun", "rotted"

enjambent throughout, childlike language - "daddy frog" "mammy frog" - IRISH " the great slime kings" - Scared of the frogs in 2nd stanza

War imagery used, taking away the innocent and naivty, this relates to his childhood and the civil conflict when he was growing up. He has lost his childhood innocnece. - "poised like mud grenades", "Invaded tje flax dam", "gross bellied frogs werew cocked", "loose necks pulsed like sails" - nautical imagery

Comparisons: Storm on an Island - Nature as an enemy - The Field Mouse - Patrolling Barnegat, childhood innocence - Cold Knape Lake - Sonnet, The eagle

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Digging - Heaney

Theme: Childhood and Heritage, admiration for his father

Tone: Contrasting worlds, family farming not for him but the pen is natural. Circular narrative returns to the beginning - back to himself

Imagery: "The squat pen rests snug as a gun" - comfort and power, war imagery, simile. His pen and his fathers spade are form contrasting worlds. "under my window...My father digging.I look down" this shows that they can happen at the same time but they oppose eachother. Repetition of "digging" to show importance.

" By god, the old man could handle a spade. Just like his old man" - Short stanza shows the generations not carryoing on, guilt. " fell to right away" - falling away from tradition.

" Going down and down" shows the repetive language of that work and the boredom it brings him. " the squelch and slap" Onamatopeia - famine. " But I've no spade to follow men like them" Admiration for his reletives but still cannot follow. " I'll dig with it" links him to heritage - importance of pen.

Comparisons: Follower and Mid term break - childhood and parent child relationships - Catrin - On my first sonne - Cold Knape lake - The eagle and Sonnet - Admiration

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Mid term Break - Heaney

Theme: Childhood

Tone: Reflective

Imagery: "Father Crying" Different side to his father he has never seen. " and I was embarresed" His feelings in this kind of situation

"sonowdrops..and candles..Paler now" - Innocence of white

" poppy bruise" - war imagery

" a four foot box, a foot for every year" Younger brother

Comparisons: Digging and follower - childhood - Catrin - Family relationships. On my first sonne - Death

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Follower - Heaney

Theme: Childhood and admiration for his father, parent relationships

Tone: Admiration for his father, can never be as good as his father

Imagery: " his shoulders globed like a full sail strung" nautical , sea is very powerful - nature as a control. " rolled over without breaking" realtes to waves, " mapping the furrow exactly", a ship mapping a route.

" I stumbled in his hob - nailed wake" - following in his footsteps, " In his broad shadow round the farm" - he can never fill his fathers shadow. " I was a nuisance, tripping falling, Yapping as always" Compares himself to a dog of no use just a nuissance.

" But today it is my father who keeps stumbling behind me, and will not go away" - His father isn't as strong as he used to be due to old age. He has become more than his father so is no longer in his shadow but had a sense of guilt about it. He wants his father to be better than him and admire him. Guilt of leaving if his father follows him.

Comparisons: Mid term break, Digging, Catrin - childhood and parent relationships - On my first sonne - Cold Knape Lake, Sonnet.

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At a Potatoe Digging - Heaney

Theme: Past and Present - Irish portatoe famine

stanza 1 + 2 Present, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 + 8 past, 9+10 present. Engambent shows the pause in the diggers work.

Imagery: "roots" - bringing up the past of the potatoe famine. " like crows attacking crow - black fields, they stretch a higgledy line from hedge to headland;" Using machienery -over farming is attacking the fields. Alliteration creates rythum that is confused like the higgledy imagery. Headland - nautical " Heads bow", "mother", "famine god","a seasonal alter of the sod" - religous imagery, Catholic Ireland.

"(a clean birth) whose solid feel, whose wet inside promises taste of ground and root" - potatoes born from mother nature, sesory imagery, Anthesis of "live skulls, blind eyes" - the past famine. - skeletons in your closet. "scoured the land in fourty five" Direct reference.

" faces chilled to a plucked bird" humand linked to birds like the diggers scowling the land. " stinking potatoes...filthy mounds" negetive potatoes in the past. " thankfully breaking timeless fasts" Famine ends, " Scatter Crumbs" Famine has ended

Comparisons: A difficult birth - hope - The field mouse - key event in history

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Catrin - Clarke

Theme: Parent - child relationships, love and conflict

Imagery: "I can remember you, child" Looking back over time, repeated when change of subject."child" is very patronising as if she cannot grow up.

Conflict: "fierce confrontation", "struggle to become Seperate. We want, we shouted, To be two, to be ourselves" - Seperation of mother and child but you will always have a connection.

Love and Conflict: " The tight red rope of love" Shows the umbilical chord, metaphor for their relationship and the tension. "wild tender circles" - oxymoron. " Heart's pool that old rope, Tightening about my life, Trailing love and conflict" Shows thare relationship but is quite negetive.

"glass tank clouded" Incubater - life changes and visiting baby. Or the room she is in showing her emotions are clouded. "Straight,strong,long brown hair and your rosy defiant glare" admiration.

Comparisons: Digging, follower, mid term break, On my first sonne and The eagle

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A difficult Birth, Easter 1998 - Clarke

Theme: Northern Irish peace treaty, breaking through, hope and the lack of it, political

Imagery:Religious: "Good Friday", easter, "Quiet Supper and bottle of wine" the last supper important meetings in the past. " the stone rolled away"

"If the news is good", If makes the hope tainted as if unbelievable. "tamed by pain".

" her waters broke an hour ago and she's sipped her own lost salty ocean from the ground" Disguist at Northern Ireland unable to make a decision.

"This is when the whitecoats come to the women well meaning, knowing best, with their needles and forceps" interference from unwanted parties, treaty is manmade. " I feel a creak in the limbs and pull till he comes" A painfully long process.

" then the second lamb slips throught the open door" hope, positive.

Comparisons: At a potatoe Digging, The field mouse, Patrolling Barnegart - religious imagery - nature.

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The field mouse - Clarke

Theme: Nature as an enemy, war imagery, extended metaphor for civil war.

Imagery: " the long grass is a snare drum" - war imagery, metaphor for the wind through the grass from the jets of soldiers walking through the grass. " far from the radio's terrible news" Unaware of the events happening. " we cut the hay" Trapping innocence negative language, "wave breaks" Nautical Imagery. "Chance a gift of sweetness" Positive language, peaceful and idealistic. "killed flowers" and " Field lies bleeding" Destroying the country and the civilians - innocence.

Metaphor of the Mouse: " his hands a nest of quivering mouse" protection, " It's black eyes two sparks burning" violent language, it had to be distinguished soon, " The star goes out in its eye" Loss of hope. " staring at what we have crushed" Collectively responsible, violent language. " The dusk garden inhabited by the saved voles, frogs a nest of mice" the survivors.

"All night i dream the children dance in the grass their bones brittle as mouse ribs, the air stammering with gun fire, my neighbour turned stranger, wounding my land with stones" Wanting freedom but even the children are targets, strangers - turning on each other unrecognisable. Stones show grave stones and death. Children are positive throughout the only inncence - hope.

Comparisons: A difficult birth - hope, Death of a naturlist, strom on an Island - nature as an enemy, Patrolling Barnegat and Sonnet - nature.


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Cold Knape lake - Clarke

Theme: Strong females, mothers, fairytale, memories and the past

Tone: Positive fairytale into negetive fairytale

Imagery: " Blue lipped", "water's long green silk" EXAGGERATION Shows she is dead using exageration. Silk contrast the "poor house". " A heroine, her red head bowed" - mother fairytale hero, memorie from child hood is like a fairy tale. " Stranger's child her breath" - negetive. " the crowd stood silent, drawn by teh dread of it" Dramatic shows admiration for her mother.

"bleating" - shows farming and animals. " thrashed" Negetive, relates to father.

"Was I there?" Questioning her own memories are they real? " troubled surface..dipped fingers of the willow...mud blooms in cloudiness" metaphor for her memories being confused and unknown. Covering the truth, dark fairytale.

"All lost thing lie under closing water in that lake with the poor man's daughter" - Some memories will be lost you cannot remember everything.

Comparison: Sonnet - fairytale, Digging - admiration - The eagle and nature.

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On my first Sonne - Ben Jonson

Theme: Relationships and Death, commerative poem

Tone: Positve and admiration for his son

Imagery: "my right hand" his favourite son, part of him. "  my sinne...lov'd boy" Direct to his son, whas it his fault, his sin?. " Fate" God's plan.

"Will man lament the state he should envie?" Why should he feel sorrow for his son, he is in heaven. "fleshes rage" To be traped inside yourself, or disease he has escaped this, advantage of death, escape old age "yet age?"

" Rest in soft peace" Affectionate

" Ben. Jonson his best piece of poetrie" His son is his greatest creation, metaphor

" As what he loves may never like too much" he can never love anything as much again as the pain is too unbearable.

Comparision: Catrin, Digging - relationships, Mid term break - Death, Sonnet - admiration

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Patrolling Barnegat - Walt Whitman

Theme: Nature as an enemy , Nautical Imagery - new jersey bay Tone: Negetive

Imagery: "wild, wild" repetition, creates atmosphere. Negetive language "roar", hear the weather. Religious anthesis of light and dark, the demon and the trinity, "Shouts of demoniac laughter...savagest trinity lashing" War attacking the shore. Positive language: "milk white combs" the waves repeated at the end as well, "sand spirits" magaical, "till daylight wending" the light contrasting the darkness .

" Is that a wreck? is the red signal flaring?" retorical questions evil image.

" A group of dim, weird froms, struggling, the night confronting, That savage trinity warily watching." A mask, evil imagery, unknown weather, does it signal what will happen in the future, when the weather changes so does the mood.

Lines end in ing words, so they rhyme, doesn't stop, so it flows like the sea. Alliteration adds rhythum.

Comparison: Death of a Naturalist, Storm on an Island, the field mouse - nature as an enemy - sonnet, contrasts the nature.

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The Eagle - Alfred Tennyson

Theme: Admiration for nature, height - represents status of eagle

Imagery: " He clasps the crag with crooked hands;" Personification of the bird as he hasno hands. Hands relate to an old man, majestic and wise relates to the eagle. Semi colon andds temp.

"lonely lands" Alliteration, shows height "close to the sun"

Anthesis of old and young: "the wrinkled sea" shows old and height as its beneath him, "crawls" shows youth and contrast "stands" personification of the sea below hime.

" And like a thunderbolt he falls" Thunderbolt shows power and speed, natural heaven. Anthesis and oxmoron of falling. Simile.

Comparison: Sonnet, Death of a naturlist, Storm on an Island, Patrolling Barnegat, On my first Sonne and Digging, The field mouse. Admiration.

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Sonnet - John Clare

Theme: Nature as a friend, admiration and innocence and naivety, Positive

Imagery: "I love" repeted throughout, personal and child like. When you first look at nature, inncence. "and white wool sack clouds sailing to the north" Nautical and religious, fairytale like.

 " gold the meadow drain" positive language that shows beauty. "where reed clumps rustle like a wind shook wood" Simile, clear description onamatopeia, paints a picture in your imagination.

"hiding pace" its a game - child hood. " head swings", "happy wings" "bright beetles" Cartoon and disney type description that is very happy and innocent. Yellow and white are repeated they show summer. It creates a very pittoresque poeam.

It is a sonnet which are traditionally about love, and this is about his love for nature and the beauty of it, the summer brings joy.

Comparisons: Cold knape lake - fairytale, Storm on and Island and patrolling barnegat - contrasting nature, Death of a naturlist - innocnce - Mid term breack. The eagle - admiration for nature.

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