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Analysis of Poem Death of a Naturalist by Seamus Heaney
Skip to content. Created by: tommyellisx Created on: About. Sign up to Comment. Key Quotations. The poem opens with some rich description of a swampy area where flax a kind of plant grows. Heaney describes the flies buzzing, and how the sun beats down on the mucky soil.
Some of the reoccurring themes in the two poems include memories of childhood and changes in the life of the writer. There are contrasts too, in 'Death of a Naturalist'; the writer is concentrating on himself and his own experiences in life, rather than the experiences of others. In 'Digging', the opposite is true,. Naturalists focused on macrobiological concepts, such as Lamarck and Cuvier who debated the fixity or lack there of of species, as well as microbiological concepts, such as Schleiden and Schwann and the development of the Cell Theory. One such naturalist was Louis Pasteur. Pasteur was able to take advantage of the microscope and formulate the Germ Theory of Disease in ,. The naturalist writer Stephen Crane, for instance, explored the absurdity of the human condition.
Death of a Naturalist is a collection of poems written by Seamus Heaney , who received the Nobel Prize in Literature. The collection was Heaney's first major published volume, and includes ideas that he had presented at meetings of The Belfast Group. The work consists of 34 short poems and is largely concerned with childhood experiences and the formulation of adult identities, family relationships, and rural life. The collection begins with one of Heaney's best-known poems, "Digging", and includes the acclaimed "Death of a Naturalist" and "Mid-Term Break". From Mid-term Break Wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple, He lay in the four foot box as in his cot. No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear. The narrator remembers everything he saw and felt at those times.
Death of a Naturalist is a blank verse poem that focuses on the loss of childhood innocence. Heaney looks back to a time when he was a boy.
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Commentary: In the title poem of his first ever collection, Death of a Naturalist , Seamus Heaney gives a very sensuous and sumptuous description of the goings on at his local flax-hole. When the process was complete the flax was taken out and became the raw material for the thriving linen industry which had long flourished in Northern Ireland but was now showing some signs of decay in the nineteen fifties. It is a memory poem, one of the many poems written about his childhood and early school days. Heaney, in this first collection of early poems mines a rich vein of childhood memory. It is, however, embellished memory childhood through a rosy adult lens. The poem is extremely sensual and evokes the senses of sight and sound and smell to perfection.