Seamus Heaney's Poems: Death of a Naturalist and Advancement of Learning and Roe Deer
The assignment that I will be undertaking is based on the poems Death
of a Naturalist, Advancement of Learning and Roe Deer. The Nobel Prize
winning poet Seamus Heaney, who was Irish, wrote the two poems Death
of a Naturalist and Advancement of Learning. Ted Hughes, who has
written a variety of stories, one of which was the famous Iron Man,
wrote the poem Roe Deer. The main task of the assignment is to
Ø Explain the general meaning and storyline of each poem
Ø Consider the feelings and emotions in each poem
Ø Discuss the use of language in each poem
These three poems have a similar theme. They are all about nature,
specific animals and how the poet sees them through his eyes. In the
two poems by Seamus Heaney, the poems are about a change of opinion.
In Death of a Naturalist, the poet at first thought frogs were
entertaining and interesting however later found out they was
atrociously disgusting. He was sickened by them. In Advancement of
Learning, Heaney at first does not like rats, but later conquers his
fears. In Roe Deer, Hughes finds deers fascinating in his own way. He
begins to think he understands what they were saying to him, and then
he gradually looses contact with them.
Death of a Naturalist is the poem told by Seamus Heaney as a child
point of view. It is about his experience and encounters with frogs.
He used to collect frogspawn as a boy but then became suddenly afraid
of the frogs. Advancement of Learning is the poem told by the poet
Seamus Heaney who is probably now older. The poem is regarding the
incidents, which deal with the transition from childish innocence to
an awareness of the fundamental threat implicit in all our lives. The
poem is about a creature he despises, a rat, but when he really thinks
about it, he sees what a pathetic little creature it really is and
overcomes his repulsion. Roe Deer is the poem told by Ted Hughes as a
man, who tells it in a sort of science fiction way. The poem is all
about the possibility of experiences we cannot justify in the world we
live in. He believes, as in science fiction, there is a kind of
dimension for animals, they suddenly appear out of nowhere. They seem
to look at him and try to tell him something but at the end, he looses
contact. The deer's try to justify something to him and when he is
just about to understand, like a fortuneteller who loses contact with
the spirits, he loses it.
Death of a naturalist
In stanza one the poet is enchanted and obsessed by the frogs, e.g.
"warm thick slobber of frogspawn was best of all." Every spring he
filled jam jars full of frogspawn to see it develop into frogs. The
teacher called them "Daddy frog" and "Mammy frog" which is likening
them to a happy family. There is a...