Comparison between poems by Seamus Heaney, "Death of a Naturalist" and "The Barn".

Topics: Poetry, Thing, Childhood / Pages: 3 (901 words) / Published: Sep 1st, 2003
Both poems display very rich description from the start and continue this full description throughout the poem giving you a very clear image of the sights, sounds and smells described. The very first lines of each poem show this rich flavour and very much give you the idea that the poems are about nature. The poems are about forces of nature and they both build the effect of these forces using description. Death of a Naturalist uses the description to give the feeling that the author is control of nature that is why when it comes to the last verse it is so shocking to the author because he realises he is not in control anymore and cannot control the forces of nature. The Barn uses the description to give you the feeling you get when you are in the barn. It gives you the feeling that everything is still, dead and cold this gives it an eerie feeling and this feeling is expressed in the last verse not as still, dead or cold but very much alive.

Both poems are reminiscing about childhood experiences with the true forces of nature. You can tell that they are childhood experiences because of the language used. In Death of a Naturalist the things that tell you that it is a child speaking through Seamus Heaney are the things that this child does. The child collects 'jampotfuls' of spawn and puts them on window-sills at home and shelves at school. Also the language used tells us that it is told through the words of a child. Words like daddy and mammy are examples of the child-like language used in Death of a Naturalist. In The Barn the things that tell you that it is a childhood experience is the description and the actions. The description of the floor 'mouse-grey' is typical of a simple childish description. The action that tells us that it is a childhood experience is the way the child lays on the floor face down, although an adult may have been scared in the barn I think that an adult may not have laid face down on the floor so therefore it must have been a child. Even

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