Analysis Of The Poem ' Death Of A Naturalist ' And ' Blackberry Picking '

1447 Words Oct 7th, 2015 6 Pages
Poetic techniques allow experience to be represented in an intense and compressed way.

Good morning all. My name is Joseph Brough, and I am here to explain how Seamus Heaney compresses his life experiences into two of his poems, “Death of a Naturalist” and “Blackberry-Picking”. Heaney’s use of language techniques such as meter, diction and consonance is fine-tuned in these poems to construct a compressed and intense representation of childhood joy, growing up, and the subsequent loss of innocence. Heaney considers these factors to be central to the experience of youth that he presents readers.

To begin, if you would so kindly turn your attention to “Death of a Naturalist”. This poem’s persona introduces us to the idea that childhood is a time of innocence and curiosity. We know that Heaney’s speaker is a young child from their infantile language, such as “daddy”, and Heaney leads us to think of this poem as a memory of his own youth through the past tense and hints of a long-term relationship with the landscape. The speaker exists in a secure environment, a blend of home, school and the countryside, all the time sheltered by symbolic Miss Walls. The teacher exists to protect the persona from the uncomfortable truths of the world, such as how she glosses over the sexual aspect of reproduction. This is a setting in which a child can safely experience nature and develop into the young naturalist mention in the title.


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