Seamus Heaney

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You have been asked to read a collection of Seamus Heaney’s poems to a 5th year class. Select 4 poems you would read and explain why.

Seamus Heaney is widely recognised as one of the major poets of the twentieth century. Heaney 's Poems are based on real life experiences, which can be related to in only so many ways, because of the differences in the likes of lifestyle and culture. Heaney’s poetry appeals to students as much of it deals with issues of childhood in a manner that is mature and accessible. The poems I have chosen to read to a fifth year class are ‘The Forge’, ‘The Underground’, “Mossbawn: Sunlight” and ‘A Call’. The three themes that seem to be recurring throughout Heaney’s work are, Love, Time and Isolation and I
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We live in a world that moves very quickly and where nothing is permanent and in this poem I would put emphasis on how quickly their relationship changes when it goes from “we” in the opening line-showing they are together to “you” and “me” in line three, showing how fast Heaney’s wife is growing away from him. I would also stress that in the final two stanzas it is “I” that occurs three times, I would make sure the listeners are aware that the “I” is “all attention”-an “I” that is nervous and expectant. I should speak in an exciting tone with energy in my voice at the beginning of this poem as the movement in stanzas one and two is full of frantic, frenetic. For stanza three, I would change my tone to one of darkness as the panic is gone and Heaney is “mooning around”, in no hurry to go home. When reading this poem, I would put emphasis on the present participles throughout. These intensify the poem and they give the experience more immediacy. I would stress the dynamic verbs, “running”, “speeding” and “gaining” when reading the first stanza. The tense from the second to third stanza changes to the present, "...and now I come...".At this part of the poem, it is slowly becoming evident that Heaney is reminiscing and that remembering these experiences are painful to him so I would read the line quite slowly with
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