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

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Churning Day - Seamus Heaney

***** the surface, the poem by Nobel Prize Laureate ***** Heaney called Churning Day, 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 ***** is both a history lesson and a reflection of Heaney's agricultural upbringing. It is also in a very real way a testament to h***** s*****arp eye ***** attentive ears towards the culture ***** rural Ireland in which he was steeped in and "plunged in" - like poetry itself.

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

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

***** his lecture to the Nobel Foundation, Heaney explains that he was ***** "eldest child of an every-growing family." That ***** was crowded toget*****r in three rooms in a th*****tched farmhouse. The experience, he explained, was intimate and "physical" and "creaturely" - which suggests that he and his family were a bit ***** shrewd ***** productive animals, living off the land and cooperating with one another the way the natural world operates. Rabbits have ********** communities and when babies are born, they become part of ***** little *****; ***** the same with mice, and ants, and squirrels. He ********** have to mention those species because he has given the reader and ***** listener the word "creaturely," ***** that is ***** for the active mind ***** take it ***** there. Nature ***** its way, and life moves ********** because ***** rituals and duties.

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

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


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