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

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

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

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

***** Heaney, everything that happened in his family *****, and in the surround*****gs and materials of ***** 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 - based on the initial action. And ***** the poet who is skillful in ***** economy of words, the ***** becomes trained to observe the pragmatism ***** those reactions and results, just like ***** young eyes of the poet witness the ***** being made from the fresh milk of the cow.

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


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