Seamus Heaney

Topics: Poetry, Frog, Childhood, Nature, Child, Rhyme scheme / Pages: 7 (1739 words) / Published: May 2nd, 2010
Write a close analysis of ‘Death of a Naturalist’ explaining how the poet uses natural imagery and the structure of the poem to convey the themes of the loss of childhood innocence and the formulation of adult identities. How typical is it of the collection ‘Death of a Naturalist’ in terms of the representation of these themes?
Seamus Heaney was born in Northern Ireland in 1939. Heaney’s father was a farmer, and a cattle dealer, he was also very popular within the community. It can be said that Seamus Heaney’s reference to farming and love of nature can be due to his upbringing, as well as his regular mention of love and pride for Northern Ireland.
Seamus Heaney’s feelings towards Ireland’s cultural controversies are addressed in the majority of his poems, this brings Irish and English literary traditions to attention, and many critics have praised him for the particular attribute.
Natural imagery conveys the theme of childhood innocence in ‘Death of a Naturalist’ with the use of ‘childish’ language for example ‘bubbles gargled delicately’, has a paradox effect as the statement is contradictory, it also carries the sense of childhood innocence as playing with bubbles is an activity associated with children. Also, ‘gargled’ is onomatopoeic and pleasant sounding. The quote emphasises children’s innocence and naive outlook on the world and nature. The use of ‘swimming tadpoles’, ‘daddy frog’, ‘mammy frog and ‘little eggs’, all depict an image of childhood innocence, through the basic ‘childlike’ language used as well as the family links, for example ‘mammy’ and ‘daddy’ depict the happy-go-lucky ideology that many young children have, again suggesting that the speaker is a naive, young child. ‘But best of all was the warm thick slobber’, the unattractive, slime is something that appeals to children, conveying

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