Questions and Answers for Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney

What is the theme of the poem "Punishment" by Seamus Heaney?

In “Punishment," Seamus Heaney shows us the universality of violence, especially violence towards women, throughout human history. As presented in the poem, violence against women is used as a way...

Latest answer posted July 21, 2020 10:51 am UTC

3 educator answers

Seamus Heaney

What is the purpose (theme) in the poem "Blackberry Picking" written by Seamus Heaney?

The theme of Heaney's poem is that life in all its fullness, as represented by the blackberries, is transitory and can only be grasped for a fleeting moment; afterwards it rots. In the first...

Latest answer posted March 26, 2017 8:01 am UTC

2 educator answers

Seamus Heaney

Describe the theme in "Digging" by Seamus Heaney.

Seamus Heaney's poem, "Digging," has a single central conceit (extended metaphor), which presents an analogy comparing the poet's pen to the spade of his father and grandfather. This comparison...

Latest answer posted March 1, 2015 5:51 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Seamus Heaney

Give examples of imagery in the poem "Digging" by Seamus Heaney.

In Seamus Heaney's poem "Digging," the speaker describes his ancestors' digging using imagery and considers his own writing as his form of "digging." The speaker begins by referencing a more...

Latest answer posted March 30, 2018 6:41 pm UTC

3 educator answers

Seamus Heaney

What are some distinguishing features of Seamus Heaney's Poetry?

Many typical traits of the poetry of Seamus Heaney are visible in the following stanza from one of his most famous poems, titled “Digging.” My grandfather cut more turf in a day Than any other man...

Latest answer posted March 16, 2012 11:22 am UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

Write the critical appreciation of the poem 'Punishment.'

"Punishment" is based on an actual event in 1951 when the body of a young woman was found in a bog in Windeby, Germany. The girl lived in the first century A.D. According to the Roman scholar...

Latest answer posted July 28, 2012 2:58 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

At A Potato Digging Summary

Seamus Heaney's poem "At a Potato Digging," features two contrasting depictions of a potato harvest. In the first section of the poem, the speaker describes a modern potato harvest with "a...

Latest answer posted July 28, 2012 3:57 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

Write a stanza-by-stanza summary and analysis of the poem "Punishment" by the poet Seamus Heaney.

In "Punishment," Heaney is describing a "bog woman," a woman who was punished and killed, later to be thrown in a bog. This was a common practice of ancient tribes; bogs were also used for ritual...

Latest answer posted August 6, 2012 1:44 am UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

Identify examples of imagery in the poem "Punishment" by Seamus Heaney.

In his poem "Punishment," Seamus Heaney" writes of the crimes of the Irish Republican Army against British sympathizers in Ulster. He points to the "intimate revenge" and cruelty of the IRA to...

Latest answer posted October 2, 2013 6:57 am UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

Write the critical appreciation of the poem "Digging" by the poet Seamus Heaney.

Seamus Heaney's "Digging" describes a man's journey through time to observe, stand in awe of, and struggle to measure up to, the greatness of two men in the speaker's past. First the narrator talks...

Latest answer posted August 6, 2012 12:03 am UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

Describe the theme of Seamus Heaneys poem Sunlight:

The theme of Seamus Heaney’s poem, “Mossbawn: Sunlight”, appears to be the love between mother and child, depicted in the familiar scone-baking activity. Although there is a “sunlit absence”,...

Latest answer posted May 25, 2009 2:05 am UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

In Seamus Heaney's poem "Funeral Rites," how is social awareness an important theme?

Seamus Heaney’s poem “Funeral Rites” emphasizes social awareness, especially in its overt references to the violent "Troubles” between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. Each section,...

Latest answer posted March 23, 2012 8:25 am UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

In Seamus Heaney's "Casualty," please explain the imagery employed, in particular the water imagery.

In “Casualty,” Seamus Heaney uses body imagery to establish the character of the fisherman; the poet presents water imagery to illustrate the man’s ties to fishing and drinking. The repeated water...

Latest answer posted July 11, 2020 3:13 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Seamus Heaney

Describe the type of diction used in the poem "Digging" by Seamus Heaney.

Seamus Heaney uses both middle and poetic diction in the poem “Digging” to make its meaning accessible and straightforward to readers. Middle diction is the use of words that are chosen to be more...

Latest answer posted January 19, 2020 9:43 pm UTC

5 educator answers

Seamus Heaney

What is the significance of the symbols and images in Seamus Heaney's poetry, with examples from his poem "After a...

Seamus Heaney's "After a Killing" is a poem about the Irish Troubles. Heaney uses symbols and imagery to emphasize not only the struggles of the people, but the inevitability of trouble returning...

Latest answer posted January 22, 2018 1:06 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

What is the tone of the poem "Punishment" by Seamus Heaney?

The tone of this poem is one of sombre sadness and grief at the suffering that was enacted upon this bog girl that was discovered, but also how that suffering is continued in today's age through...

Latest answer posted October 2, 2013 5:24 am UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

Write the summary and analysis of the poem "Follower" by the poet Seamus Heaney.

Of the Seamus Heaney poems I have read about his father, this is one that makes me sad. It is obvious from all of Heaney's poetry that he loved and admired his dad, but this poem, "Follower,"...

Latest answer posted August 6, 2012 5:02 am UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

What are examples of figurative language in the poem, "Punishment" by Seamus Heaney?

In his own words, Heaney describes his poem, "Punishment": It’s a poem about standing by as the IRA tar and feather these young women in Ulster. But it’s also about standing by as the British...

Latest answer posted October 2, 2013 5:03 am UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

What are the main points Seamus Heaney makes (and implies) in his 1995 Nobel Prize Speech, "Crediting Poetry"?

Heaney's central point in the lecture is that it is possible for poetry to to be "equal to" and "true," to be what he describes as a "retuning of the world." He develops this idea in the context of...

Latest answer posted August 2, 2019 2:39 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Seamus Heaney

What are some of the poetic devices used in Seamus Heaney's poem titled "Funeral Rites"?

Seamus Heaney’s poem titled “Funeral Rites” effectively uses a variety of literary devices in a number of different ways, including the following: Effective metaphors, as in the word “shouldered”...

Latest answer posted April 12, 2012 10:17 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

What poetic devices and themes are found in Seamus Heaney's poem titled "North"?  

[Continued from above.] Lines 18-19 display a kind of internal rhyme, since both “me” and the last syllable of “epiphany” are accented, thus contributing in yet another way to the sheer music of...

Latest answer posted March 25, 2012 11:26 am UTC

2 educator answers

Seamus Heaney

What kind of diction does Heaney use in "Punishment"?

The best answer to this question is that Heaney uses middle diction in this poem, as he does in the majority of his poems. The word choice employed in this poem is definitely not formal, as the...

Latest answer posted October 4, 2013 5:07 am UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

Write the critical appreciation of the poem "At a Potato Digging."

"At a Potato Digging" is written from third-person perspective - someone uninvolved with the action is describing what is happening. A mechanized digging machine is unearthing potatoes, which human...

Latest answer posted July 30, 2012 4:28 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

Analyze and explain the theme of marriage in Seamus Heaney's Glanmore Sonnets, specifically sonnet I. How does this...

Heaney explicitly called the Glanmore Sonnets his “marriage poems,” but in the broadest sense they refer not only to the union between the poet and his wife but also to his acceptance of art as a...

Latest answer posted January 15, 2020 4:45 pm UTC

3 educator answers

Seamus Heaney

What type of diction is used in the poem "Punishment" by Seamus Heaney?

The diction used in this powerful poem which links the bog people discovered in Ireland to modern day political tragedies is carefully selected to reinforce the horror of what the young girl found...

Latest answer posted October 2, 2013 5:10 am UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

ANALYSE ELEGY FOR A STILLBORN CHILD

This beautiful poem by Seamus Heaney is, as the title indicates, an elegy, a poem of lament. Traditionally, an elegy contains three sections: an expression of grief, an expression of praise for the...

Latest answer posted April 26, 2018 11:13 am UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

How can you analyze the poem "Blackberry Picking" by Seamus Heaney? What are the attitude, theme, and shifts of the...

Like many poems by Heaney, this poem is rich with imagery, and uses that imagery to make evocative observations about the world in which people live. As far as how we can analyze it, start by...

Latest answer posted January 20, 2016 5:05 am UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

How would one write a letter to Seamus Heaney describing one's response to some of his poems?

Before you can write your letter, you'll first want to do a very close, analytical reading of some of Seamus Heaney's poems you read in class. I would pick two or three of your favorites and focus...

Latest answer posted November 5, 2013 2:44 am UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

What is a critical analysis of the poem "Cow in Calf" by Seamus Heaney, including the themes, background and forms...

Seamus Heaney is an Irishman who grew up on a farm and became a poet who often wrote about the things he knew best. "Cow in Calf" is an example of his experience with the intimate workings of farm...

Latest answer posted February 18, 2014 1:46 am UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

How is Seamus Heaney's poem titled "Requiem for the Croppies" effective at conveying social awareness or cultural...

"Requiem for the Croppies" is a tribute to the Irish rebels who fought against British domination of Ireland in 1798. "Croppies" were given their name because they wore their hair closely cropped...

Latest answer posted December 9, 2018 12:11 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Seamus Heaney

What is the theme of Seamus Heaney's poem "Blackberry-Picking," and what poetic devices contribute to the theme?

At first blush, Seamus Heaney's "Blackberry-Picking" seems straightforward. As the title suggests, the poem is a nostalgic remembrance of the subject's youth, which he spent as a boy picking...

Latest answer posted February 9, 2016 6:30 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

Describe the language of the poem Sunlight by Seamus Heaney.

“Mossbawn: Sunlight” by Seamus Heaney presents an imagery of intimacy with the woman making the scones, heating the griddle, and keeping a watchful eye on their baking progress. Despite the...

Latest answer posted May 20, 2009 8:03 am UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

Write a critical appreciation of Seamus Heaney's "Dedicatory Poem from Wintering Out"

As is well-known, Seamus Heaney originally intended that his next collection of poem would be titled after a line from the poem “The Tollund Man”: Wintering Seeds. The period is the early 1970s,...

Latest answer posted March 15, 2014 12:56 am UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

Compare Seamus Heaney's attitude in his poems “Digging” and “Casualty.” What are the main themes in these poems?

“Digging” and “Casualty” are both poems that grapple with the nature of the conflict, in particular the conflict in Northern Ireland. “Digging” focuses more on intergenerational struggle, as the...

Latest answer posted August 27, 2020 7:20 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

Compare the poetic methods used by Heaney in sonnets 1 and 3 of "Clearances."

Both poems deal with Heaney's mother who is deceased. Sonnet one and three are very different pieces, and though both are set in the past, the first deals with the distant past and how the author...

Latest answer posted November 30, 2010 11:35 am UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

How does Heaney subvert romantic expectations in his poem Wedding Day?

In Seamus Heaney's poem 'Wedding Day' it may be the readers' romantic expectations of the marriage theme that are subverted but not those of the bridegroom, bride or family. The poet may be trying...

Latest answer posted November 11, 2013 10:57 am UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

What do you learn about human nature from the poem "Blackberry-Picking" by Seamus Heaney?

Seamus Heaney's "Blackberry-Picking" suggests that life's cycles are both beautiful and ugly, renewing and disappointing. Above all, people have no control over the natural order, no matter how...

Latest answer posted June 28, 2016 12:58 am UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

How does Heaney use language and devices to make the familiar strange?

What makes this Nobel Prizewinning author, now sadly no longer with us, so special, is the way that he takes scenes based on his childhood in Ireland and imbues them with such familiarity, but then...

Latest answer posted October 8, 2013 6:08 am UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

Discuss how Heaney's poetry reveals his fascination with the past in "Digging," "Follower," "Cow in calf," "At a...

In Seamus Heaney's poetry, it seems that the past fascinates him because he cannot deny the profound effect things of the past have had—and still have—on him. In "Digging," the narrator recalls his...

Latest answer posted August 1, 2012 4:57 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Seamus Heaney

Please explain the following stanza of the poem "Punishment" by Seamus Heaney. Under which at firstshe was a barked...

Let us just remember the overall context of this poem. It begins by describing the way in which a woman was punished by death for committing adultery in her time period. The corpse of this woman...

Latest answer posted July 28, 2011 7:40 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

Is social awareness an important concern to Seamus Heaney in his poetry?

While social concerns appear in some of Seamus Heaney’s poems, such concerns are not as strongly emphasized as they are in the works of various other poets. Indeed, Heaney has been criticized for...

Latest answer posted March 22, 2012 9:39 am UTC

2 educator answers

Seamus Heaney

How is Seamus Heaney both a participant and resistant voice to the post-modern age?

Good point! :-)

Latest answer posted March 24, 2012 8:43 am UTC

4 educator answers

Seamus Heaney

What specific poetic and stylistic devices does Seamus Heaney use to explore his themes in Docker, and how do they...

The overall tone of the poem is serious, harsh, even grim. The figure of the docker is central, and any other people are peripheral. The primary device that Seam Heaney uses is description. He...

Latest answer posted December 13, 2019 6:43 am UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

What specific poetic and stylistic devices does Seamus Heaney use to explore themes in "Limbo," and how do they...

In the first stanza of “Limbo” the apparently calm tone in which the fishermen’s grisly catch is revealed is undercut by the consonance of the stuttering “n” sounds which convey at least negation,...

Latest answer posted December 13, 2019 5:06 am UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

What is the subject matter of Seamus Heaney's poem "Blackberry Picking?"

Subject matter of a poem, or the theme, can differ based upon an individual reader's interpretation. That said, most critics, teachers, and students tend to agree when a universal theme is...

Latest answer posted October 17, 2013 1:13 am UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

What poetic devices and themes can be found in Seamus Heaney's poem titled "Bog Oak"?

Seamus Heaney’s poem titled “Bog Oak” employs a number of poetic techniques and devices in support of its themes and meanings. Among those techniques are the following: Lines 1-28: the poem is...

Latest answer posted March 27, 2012 9:11 am UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

List three reasons Antigone gives for why she will bury her brother Polyneices in the play The Burial at Thebes.

As The Burial at Thebes opens, Antigone is telling her sister, Ismene, that Creon has prohibited anyone from burying their brother Polyneices. Expressing her concern that Polyneices will be...

Latest answer posted May 26, 2020 9:23 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

What is a summary of the Dedicatory Verse called "For David Hammond and Michael Longley" on the title page of Seamus...

Summarizing the Dedicatory Verse in Heaney's Wintering Out, his third published poetry collection, works better if you start from the end then go back to the beginning. The little destinies that...

Latest answer posted July 29, 2012 5:49 am UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

Discuss the theme of childhood innocence in the poem "The Railway Children" by Seamus Heaney.

In this poem, an adult world is seen through a child's perspective, full of the possibilities of imagination. The speaker travels with a group, noted by the plural first person used throughout the...

Latest answer posted April 21, 2020 2:27 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

Describe Seamus Heaney's diction

Seamus Heaney is an Irish poet who writes in English. His first poetry collection, Death of a Naturalist, was published in 1966. Since then, over more than fifty years, he has produced a...

Latest answer posted October 31, 2019 6:42 pm UTC

1 educator answer

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