A Critical appreciation of " Follower"
( Cecilia Rafiq, 24.09.07)
"Follower" by an Irish poet, " Seamus Heaney" is a thought provoking poem in which he explores his relationship with his father when as a child he used to follow him around the farm 'stumbling' in his wake as he ploughed the fields. The poem deals with the passing of time, the innocence of youth and the knowledge which comes from experience. It raises issues such as childhood, growing up, and old age. Heaney adds power to his consideration of these issues by his use of effective language. Heaney introduces the theme of childhood by stressing the admiration that he had shown towards his father . Growing up is conveyed when Heaney states that he wants to be exactly like his father- a skilled farmer. Old age is developed in the final stanza of the poem when the poet's father has grown old and become feeble. Effectively their positions are reversed. His father is not literally behind him where as Heaney was during his childhood, but the poet is troubled by his memory, perhaps he feels guilt at not carrying on the tradition of farming, or feels he cannot live up to his father's example. The poem is divided into two sections: the first three deal with the memories of his father working on the farm and second three deal with the poet himself. The poet uses a sharp contrast of past and present which represents the passing of time and the life cycle. The mood of the poem is thoughtful, reflective, and the last two lines are tinged with the melancholy. The rhythm is very steady throughout, it reflects the act of plough e.g the use of onomatopoeic " Dipping and rising to his plod" , it reflects the subject under discussion, the natural rhythm of country music. The first line in the poem "My father worked with a horse-plough" ,this is an effective opening line. The poet's use of word " My" instantly indicates that he is talking about himself. The use of...
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