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Two Poems For Comparison By Seamus Heaney ("Churning Day" And "An Advancement Of Learning"). Describing The Use Of Imagery/Viewpoint/Atmosphere For Comparison.

2296 words - 9 pages

The poet I will be focusing on in my essay is Seamus Heaney and his two poems I will be comparing are "Churning Day" and "An Advancement of learning". Heaney was born into a farming family from the north of Ireland in 1939. His poetry mainly seems to handle different themes of love, death, generation, and memories. They all hold a strong dramatic sense. Many of Heaney's early poems deal with his past childhood experiences and how he overcomes different situations as a young child. A theme he uses especially in "An Advancement of learning" is how different experiences affect us, also how just the smallest moment or thing said in our life can change the way we look on the world. In "An Advancement of Learning" he reminisces back to a childhood fear that he confronted a Rat. In "Churning Day" a more pleasant situation but still equally memorable, also from his childhood, 'butter making'. Which in his childhood was done on the farm using the farms own milk. In "Churning Day" he vividly tells us of the sights, sounds and smells of a typical churning day. In "An Advancement of Learning" he also uses different senses to help us imagine exactly how he felt at the time. The way he calls it "an advancement?" seems to suggest to us that there were plenty more moments in his childhood that helped him to learn something else about himself or the world.Both poems I am looking at contrast on each other, "Churning Day" a pleasant, exciting memory and "An advancement of Learning" A fear confronted, but also exciting in a different way, memory. "Churning Days" subject matter and theme is about an exciting, happy day on a farm when they make butter from the churning of milk, the farm's own milk. In this poem we see his memory as a child, excited on this special day. We can tell he enjoyed this day as he uses many detailed describing words for simple things such as, "A thick-crust, coarse-grained as limestone roughcast hardened gradually on top of the four crocks". A crock is a large earthenware pot where they would store the milk. He carefully describes this visual scene so we can imagine what it really would have been like for him; he does this throughout his poem. We also know that a farm would use its own milk for churning day, this helps us realise that the child has watched the cows being milked and is probably marvelled at what is happening. He says "After the hot brewery of gland, cud and udder". So he has seen this happen and he describes the cow as a brewery, grass goes in then milk comes out. He then says "cool porous earthenware" straight after which contrasts with the "hot brewery" comment he made earlier. In "An ad. Of L." the subject matter and theme is somewhat different it's about Heaney as a young boy confronting the one thing he hates most in the world, rats. This is not such a day to look forward to nor as happy but it is still exciting in a scary way for the boy. We can see that this young boy is not too happy to meet the rat as he says, "A rat...

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