28 September 2003
How Seamus Heaney Evokes the Sensations and Emotions of Childhood by Comparing any Three of his Poems
I am going to compare "Churning Day", "An Advancement of Learning" and Mid-Term Break". The topics I am going to cover are Heaney's use of senses, the changes of mood, how he conveys emotions, his subject matters and the structure of his poems.
First I am going to look at Heaney's use of the senses, which he does with great effect making you feel as if you are in the poem.
In "Churning Day", Heaney uses a lot of onomatopoeia, even the title is onomatopoeia, 'Churning'. 'Plumping' (Line 7) is also using onomatopoeia to give you a sort of snug feeling. 'The plash and gurgle' (Line 33) and 'pat and slap' (Line 34) is Heaney's other use of onomatopoeia in "Churning Day". These make you imagine more than the other two in my opinion that you are actually there while the churning is going on.
It is obviously a very noisy business and I think Heaney conveys that fact to us well. In contrast, "Mid-Term Break" contains only one usage of onomatopoeia, 'the baby cooed and laughed', and this is to convey the baby's ignorance, the onomatopoeia makes it seem more immediate. It is a very emotional poem with a sombre mood, so there is unlikely to be much sound apart from the occasional cry. The baby is a slight relief in the sadness of the rest of the poem. In "An Advancement of Learning", Heaney uses onomatopoeia to describe the rat in much deeper detail. 'Something slobbered', Heaney's first encounter with the rat is by sound. 'Slobbered' shows that the rat is wet (to slobber is to be wet with saliva), it also shows that it...