Compare the ways the poets use imagery in four or more of the poems
you have studied. You should write about Digging by Seamus Heaney
and compare it with at least one poem by Gillian Clarke and two poems
from the pre-1914 bank.
'Digging' by Seamus Heaney, 'Catrin' by Gillian Clarke, 'The Little
Boy Lost' by William Blake and 'Tichborne's Elegy' by Charles
Tichborne are the four poems that are going to be compared. Each of
these poems all contain images which create a feeling of apprehension
and express feelings of insecurity and uncertainty.
'Digging' by Seamus Heaney uses images in concern to his future as a
poet following his family all being farmers. Perhaps the most central
image of the poem is contained on line two, "The squat pen rests; snug
as a gun". This image expresses Seamus Heaney's pen as a gun, and that
he could use it to be as powerful or as weak as he wants. Following
this introductory image to the poem, Seamus Heaney goes on to use
imagery that expresses his pride at his farming family, yet his
feeling not belonging as he watches his grandfather work on the farm.
"Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away."
This image of Seamus Heaney watching his grandfather working, stopping
only to quickly drink, creates the impression that Seamus Heaney felt
inadequate for not having a similar passion and drive for farming.
A similar image of inadequacy is used by William Blake in 'The Little
boy Lost'. William Blake writes in line 8, "and away the vapour flew".
This image creates the feeling of uneasiness and loneliness. Seamus
Heaney also expressed feelings of a similar nature as he wrote about
his wanting to be a poet though his family were all farmers.
William Blake also uses images such as "The child was wet with dew"
(line six) and "The mire was deep, and the child did weep" (line
seven) which create unhappy and uncomfortable images where the boy is
alone. William Blake rhymed the words "deep" and "weep" in line seven
to emphasise and link the feeling of loneliness the little boy had.
Similarly, Seamus Heaney used "The squat pen rests; snug as a gun",
using the reverse spelling of snug (with dropping the's') to write
'gun' in the same line to emphasise the image of his pen being a
"The squat pen rests; snug as a gun" also shows great contrast with
'snug' being a comfortable and secure word while 'gun' is a word that
conjures up images of violence and war.
This type of negative, contrasted, imagery is used throughout
'Tichborne's Elegy' to emphasise loss. Charles Tichborne uses images
such as "my crop of corn is but a field of tares" which expresses that
anything worthy of praise he once had, is now worth nothing at all.
Conceivably the poem the expresses the most sadness, 'Tichborne's
Elegy' uses strong imagery that creates the air of grief surrounding
the poem. An example of this...