Seamus Heaney Questions and Answers

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

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

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

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

In his poem “The Otter,” Seamus Heaney uses the otter as a conceit, which is an extended metaphor that compares two quite dissimilar things in creative and sometimes shocking ways. In this poem,...

Latest answer posted January 29, 2021, 2:21 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

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

"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

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

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

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 "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

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

Poetry is a literary form that enhances meaning through the use of literary devices. A word in a poem may be connected to other words not just through the standard grammar of English but also...

Latest answer posted April 22, 2016, 4:27 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

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

An analysis of ten poems is rather a lot to ask for in one question, but I shall offer you an analysis of the first five sonnets in the sequence, and hopefully from this analysis you will be able...

Latest answer posted January 15, 2020, 1:14 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

"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

Seamus Heaney’s "Feeling into Words" is as much a meditation on the craft of writing in and of itself as it is an autobiographical account of Heaney’s early and later days of writing. The idea of...

Latest answer posted March 3, 2020, 8:12 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"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

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

"Follower," by Seamus Heaney, is a poem comprising six stanzas of four lines each. It is written with an ABAB rhyme scheme. The conversational rhythm of the poem is in keeping with its theme: an...

Latest answer posted February 9, 2018, 9:03 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

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

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

Good point! :-)

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

4 educator answers

Seamus Heaney

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

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

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

[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

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

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

“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

“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

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

Heritage is one of Heaney's major themes across his body of work. The theme of heritage is taken up with irony and complexity in "The First Kingdom" as the poem draws an extended metaphor comparing...

Latest answer posted April 25, 2015, 3:45 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

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

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

In "Limbo" and "Two Lorries," Seamus Heaney shows how women are often dehumanized by the culture in which they live, utilizing literary techniques such as metaphor, imagery, enjambment, and...

Latest answer posted September 14, 2021, 6:07 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

The Irish poet Seamus Heaney (author of collections such as Death of a Naturalist and District and Circle) has recently edited a collection of various poems/poets in a book called 'The Redress of...

Latest answer posted February 21, 2010, 8:00 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

One way the role of women is diminished is by creating a voyeuristic spectacle of the female body. In recognizing that a young woman has lost her life, the speaker becomes hyper-focused on her...

Latest answer posted September 14, 2021, 3:50 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

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

To a large extent, the literary movement known as modernism emerged in response to the instability and fragmentation of cultural life in the wake of the First World War. The War had undermined many...

Latest answer posted June 15, 2020, 11:17 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

The dehumanization of women is shown in Seamus Heaney’s “Punishment” through poetic and literary devices that include imagery, metaphor, and alliteration. The poem presents the speaker’s...

Latest answer posted September 14, 2021, 5:00 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

In "Punishment," as elsewhere in his work, Heaney utilizes the modernist technique of stream of consciousness. As the poem revolves around the speaker's subjective feelings, his inner life, and his...

Latest answer posted June 15, 2020, 3:10 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Seamus Heaney

As with many of Seamus Heaney's poems, “At a Potato Digging” deals with the perennial relationship between man and the land. In the environment in which Heaney grew up, this relationship was...

Latest answer posted June 10, 2021, 8:46 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Showing 1-50 of 74