I Read Therefore I Am - Poem of the Day: 199 Requiem for the Croppies – Seamus Heaney Showing 1-5 of 5
‘Requiem for the Croppies’ ~ Seamus Heaney
Requiem for The Croppies is a sonnet , so has fourteen lines. This is also reflected in the rhythm which is not perfect pentameter — many of the lines run over ten syllables. The speaker - shown through the pronouns "we" and "our" and "us" - is one of the farmer rebels and would therefore not have been well-spoken. This adds to the feeling in the poem that this battle was not an equal one from the beginning. The punctuation in the poem creates a lot of reflective pauses. Note the use of dashes and caesuras. As the word "Requiem" in the title means a mass or act of remembrance, these pauses and the contemplative tone they create may be to make the reader reflect on the futile loss of life and the cruel circumstances of the deaths.
Commuters walk past a giant poppy decoration in London yesterday. When Seamus Heaney first read Requiem for the Croppies almost half a century ago, he could hardly have been misconstrued as glorifying war. But even in , when he wrote it, his central motif was still innocent of the meaning it acquired a few years later. From there, the poem moves swiftly — as if on the run itself — through a line history of the conspiracy, to the rout on Vinegar Hill. Then it reprises the motif, bleakly. This last detail too was based on stories of the time.
As we close in on St. The priest lay behind ditches with the tramp. Until… on Vinegar Hill… the final conclave. Terraced thousands died, shaking scythes at cannon. The hillside blushed, soaked in our broken wave.
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