Death of naturalist Essay

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Death of naturalist

This poem is a fertile mixture of imagery, sounds and an impression created by nature on people’s mind. Heaney sensualises an outstanding fear of the physical wonders of the world. He vividly describes his childhood experience that precipitates his change as a boy from the receptive and protected innocence of childhood to the fear and uncertainty of adolescence. As he wonders along the pathways of salient discovery, Heaney’s imagination bursts into life.

The title of the poem is amusingly ironic – by a naturalist we would normally think of someone with expert scientific knowledge of living things and ecology.

The poem ‘Death of a naturalist’ has quite a lot of emotional images because it’s the poet’s
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Heaney uses onomatopoeia in the words
‘slap’ and ‘plop’ to create an image on the readers mind.

This section also shows the punishment from offended nature for the boys arrogance – when he sees what nature is really like, he is terrified. This part of the poem is also very ambiguous – we see the horror of the plague of frogs, ‘obscene’ and gathered’ for
‘vengeance.’ – at least in the child’s mind. But we also see the scene a little bit more objectively – as it really was. Young Heaney was always used to seeing nature very close up but perhaps he never went beyond the simple account of ‘mommy’ and ‘daddy frogs’.

The arrival of the frogs is almost like an enemy invasion – they are
‘angry’ and invade the dam. The boy ‘ducked through hedges’ hiding from the enemy. Like firearms they are ‘cocked’ and ‘poised like mud grenades.’ The theme in Death of a naturals is the power of nature. This is illustrated when the frogs have power of the author as a child. The powerful theme is conveyed in the second stanza as phrases like
‘angry,’ ‘threat’ and ‘vengeance.’ The frogs are ‘poised like mud grenades’ which brings out images of guns and strength,

The other central theme is childhood and growing up. The poet is describing his happy attitude towards nature and frogspawn was ‘best of all.’ Heaney’s school teacher Miss Walls constantly uses childish language, like ‘mommy’ and ‘daddy frogs’ to convey his innocence at that age. In the