Turkeys Observed- Seamus Heaney

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Title:—to examine or to watch. This gives the reader the impression that the pioet was very attentive to the details of the animals. We feel that this was because of the beauty of the animals. Turkeys observed was inspired by seeing a row of Christmas Turkeys in a butcher’s shop

Structure: each stanza is a quatraine. The poem is written in free verse with no fixed meter or rhythm. The first 4 stanzas are written in 3rd person narrative while the last stanza is written in 1st person narrative. Lineation: arrangement in lines that are stopped at the end. “But a turkey cowers in death. a skin bag plumped with inky putty.

One observes them;
Some of the smelly majesty of living:
Pull his neck, pluck him, and look –
In an overture of gobbles;
I find him ranged with his cold squadrons”
The effect of this: it is used to separate ideas and to create a sense of lines/ideas being disjointed & erratic. Especially observed in “Pull his neck, pluck him, and look – He is just another poor forked thing,”

TONE: a detached air esp in the 4th stanza.The fact that the animals are dead makes us feel pity for them.

Throughout the poem, Heaney personifies turkey’s to humans “in immodest underwear frills of feather I find him ranged with his cold squadrons
He once complained extravagantly”

ALLITERATION: blue-breasted
Beached bare
Frills of feather
Red and Retain—alliteration & assonance
All of these add to the detailed description of the turkey.

Transferred epithet: “indifferent mortuary”. Taken literally, the turkey is indifferent towards the world. But actually, Heaney is indifferent towards the turkey. Emphasises the theme of the poem. The poet does not really like the turkey. He has a mocking dislike for them. He finds them pathetic and without dignity/majesty. He shows contempt towards them. The lines wh show this are: “a skin bag plumped with inky putty. The fuselage is bare, the proud wings snapped, the tail fan stripped down to a...
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