The Importance Of The Land In Twentieth Century Irish Poetry

976 words - 4 pages

The Importance of the Land in Twentieth Century Irish Poetry

Land in the Twentieth Century was very important to the Irish nation,
and this is portrayed through the works of certain pieces of poetry,
written by native countrymen Thomas Kinsella and Seamus Heaney.

The poem 'Wormwood' is expressed by Thomas Kinsella in a powerful and
descriptive manner where the reader can experience the deepest
thoughts of the writer, in his or her own way. The reader feels a
sense of involvement as Kinsella sets the scene in the dank woods:

"In a thicket, among wet trees, stunned, minutely

Shuddering, hearing a wooden echo escape."

Kinsella informs us of a tree, which he is in fact bewildered by. How
he has never come across a tree like this before. It has a certain
grace and elegance due to its individuality. The sheer size of the
tree he finds mesmerizing, and describing the slenderness of how the
tree appears to the naked eye:

"The two trees in their infinitesimal dance of growth

Have turned completely about one another, their join

A slowly twisted scar…"

Then Kinsella's dreams are shattered, as a kind of axe breaks the bond
between these two trees. As this axe shatters the tree it also
shatters the dreams of Kinsella:

"A wooden stroke:

Iron sinks in the gasping core.

I will dream it again."

Wormwood was one of Kinsella's poems which he wrote during the
twentieth century, but was it all about the bonding of a tree, and how
in was destroyed bitterly by an axe? Or was Kinsella trying to convey
a deeper meaning behind this poem. Due to the troubles occurring in
Ireland in the Twentieth Century, Kinsella could have been trying to
produce an image of what he dreams of and how his dreams become
destroyed. For instance, he may have been referring to the joining of
Northern Ireland and the Southern part of the country, a very popular
talking point at this period in time. Although the two parts are
joined together, they attitudes are very dissimilar. As the IRA
intervene, and cause even more controversy the country's become even
more separated, (the trees being separated by the axe).

"Between my finger and thumb

The squat pen rests; snug as a gun."

This quotation refers to Seamus Heaney's poem, 'Digging'. It
immediately refers to...

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