Essay - Churning Day - Seamus Heaney on the Surface, the Poem...


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Churning Day - Seamus Heaney

On the surface, the poem by Nobel Prize Laureate Seamus Heaney called Churning *****, is a wonderful journey into the past, into the old ways of making butter when technology and ***** corporate world were far from becoming part of Europe. The ***** ***** both a history lesson and a reflection of ********** agricultural upbringing. It is also in a very real way a testament to his sharp eye and attentive ears towards the culture ***** rural Ireland in which he was steeped in and "plunged in" - like poetry itself.

Because t***** structure of the poem uses enjambment the entire length, Heaney kind of gives the reader a sense of ***** movement of the h*****s churning, moving, continually. When you make butter, you don't stop for a while and rest; you keep turning, churning, and the ***** has that same continuous motion as well.

In the poem it is clear that ***** sees ***** boyhood old-world family lifestyle as a metaphor, and all the things that were ***** of those experiences are building blocks for his storytelling. But he shows how highly intelligent he is by his strategic use of words - just enough descriptiveness ***** emotion. Still, ***** does not let the tools ***** poetry overpower the poem. As a poet he ***** ***** license to pour forth w*****h images and metaphors, but he handles this poem with grace, the same as his family handled the chores of ***** food with ***** and deliberation.

In his lecture to the ***** Foundation, Heaney explains that he was t***** "eldes***** child of an e**********growing family." That family was crowded together in three rooms ***** a thatched farmhouse. The experience, he explained, was intimate *****d "physical" and "creaturely" - which suggests that he and his ***** were a bit like shrewd ***** productive animals, living off the land and cooperating with one another the way the natural world operates. Rabbits have their communities and when babies are born, they become part of that little *****; and the ***** with mice, ***** ants, and squirrels. He *****n't have to mention ***** species because he has given the reader and the listener the word "creaturely," and that is ***** for the active mind to take it ***** there. Nature has *****s way, and life moves forward because of rituals and duties.

For Heaney, everything that happened in h***** family life, ***** in the surround*****gs and materials ***** his existence, caused something else to happen. This is the substance of his *****, as well, because each action causes another *****, or a reaction - a product - b*****ed on the initi*****l action. And like the poet who is skillful in the economy of words, the eye becomes trained to observe ***** pragmatism ***** those reactions and results, just like the young eyes of the poet witness the ***** being made from ***** fresh milk ***** the cow.

First, a look at ***** Nobel lecture ***** that in his boyhood,

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