Compare and contrast 'An Advancement of Learning', 'Churning Day' and 'Roe-Deer'. Comment upon language and structure and how these enhance meaning.

Essay by nymphomaniacHigh School, 10th gradeB, February 2004

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Heaney's 'An Advancement of Learning' and 'Churning Day', and Ted Hughes' 'Roe-Deer', all use language and structure to enhance the meaning of the poem.

Heaney's style of poetry tends to be much more personal as it clearly reverts to his own life experiences. Thus, the types of themes present in Heaney's poems are typically things like tradition, identity, regeneration and as always conflict. Alternatively, Hughes' style of poetry has a propensity to be perplexing as he involves themes a little more imaginative and out of the ordinary. For instance nature, division, destruction and of course conflict. Putting differences aside similarities between the two poets styles of writing can also be distinguished. For example a theme that emerged in Heaney's 'Churning Day' and Hughes' 'Roe-Deer' was memory/time. Another similarity would be conflict though it is a universal theme and while it is recognisable in all three poems, in my opinion, a poem wouldn't be a poem without a conflict.

In this essay I intend to compare and contrast the three poems mentioned in the opening line by studying the themes at hand.

The most dominant theme in all three poems is conflict. In 'An Advancement of Learning' Heaney used the phrase '...well away from the road now...', which, by reading between the lines, suggests that, not only is he away from the road, but he's also away from his home, this brings up the theme of tradition being broken and evidently conflict. The idea of a broken tradition developing into a conflict was also apparent in another of Heaney's poems called 'Digging' thus allowing this phrase to have greater significance. In 'An Advancement of Learning' a few images are portrayed which are normally associated with the battlefield. For example the term 'retreated' clearly suggests war, could...