Literature Shit.docx - Seamus Heaney Poetry Quotes Punishment(1975 Heaney takes an ancient example of brutality and links it with modern forms of

Literature Shit.docx - Seamus Heaney Poetry Quotes...

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Seamus Heaney Poetry Quotes Punishment (1975): - Heaney takes an ancient example of brutality and links it with modern forms of brutality evident in Irish rebels killing Irish girls associated with British soldiers - Poem puts brutality at the centre and links past and present. What continues from ancient times to modern times are cruelty/brutality and primitivism. - Poem is deeply related to late 20 th century Irish historical events and Heaney reveals his own reactions and denounces of that particular time. - Suggests human nature is violent, vengeful and brutal (all common to the human condition) - Heaney said in an interview “it is a poem about standing by as the IRA tar and feather their young women in Ulster. But it’s also about standing by as the British torture people in barracks and interrogation centres in Belfast. It’s about standing between those forms of affront. Analysis: - “I can feel the tug/ of the halter at the nape/ of her neck, the wind/ on her naked front.” Poem starts abruptly with a short, crisp sentence, as if in the middle of the story, a technique known as in medias res (Latin for in the middle of things). Has the effect of drawing the reader in. Use of alliterative n’s (nape, neck and naked), focus and emphasise anatomical features. The nape (a sensual part of the body) together with “naked front” highlights the vulnerability of the woman as she is exposed to the elements. Lyrical voice creates a vivid image of the girl, with emphasis on the senses. Persona empathises with plight of the unknown woman “I can feel…” Act of ritualised humiliation through her stripping of clothes. Represents her vulnerability and loss of identity. - “It blows her nipples/ to amber beads, / it shakes the frail rigging/ of her ribs.” Awareness of her as a woman through the detailed references to her naked body. Further creates the image of a weak, fragile girl “frail” Effect of the wind on the girl’s body is depicted by the personas description of her nipples and her trembling body. Lyrical voice creates a vivid image of the girl in order to describe her suffering. Metaphor of “amber beads” is inventive and unexpected. Hints that the woman isn’t alive as amber is a semi-precious fossilised tree resin in which trapped preserved insects may be found, dating back 300 million years. Suggests the woman is a preserved corpse. “frail rigging of her ribs” is an exquisite description, and a rhythmic effect is achieved by assonant I’s. Description reads like a gruesome, ironic blazon.
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- “I can see her drowned/ body in the bog, / the weighing stone, / the floating rods and boughs.” Drowning is a prolonged, painful, terrifying, filled with desperation.
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  • Fall '18
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