In this poem, the author tells of a lost love. In order to convey his overwhelming feelings, Heaney tries to describe his emotions through something familiar to everyone. He uses the sea as a metaphor for love, and is able to carry this metaphor throughout the poem. The metaphor is constructed of both obvious and connotative diction, which connect the sea and the emotions of love.
In the first line of the poem, Heaney says Lady with the frilled blouse and simple tartan skirt. At first, it simply appears that he is describing her clothes. Tartan, however, has a second meaning of a small ship. Therefore, before Heaney even mentions the sea, he compares the lady in the poem to a ship. In the next line, he uses several words related to the sea and ships, such as rode,anchored,rocked,balance,and unmoored.î
By using the descriptive words buck, bound and pitched, the reader can sense the uneasiness and danger of both the sea and of love. Pitched is also a connotative word, because it can be used as both a verb and a word to describe the sound of the ladyís voice. When the author refers to her voice as flower-tender,he once again utilizes his metaphor of the sea. Although tender generally means something that is easily crushed, it also means a vessel attendant on another vessel. Heaney is implying once again that his lady is like a ship, because she was attendant on him, but like all ships, the two of them eventually went their separate ways.
The metaphor is again apparent in the word strand. The word implies that the author feels like he has been stranded since his love left him, but strand has a second meaning of land that borders a body of water. Once again,...