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, ***** 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 in rural Ireland in which he was steeped in and "plunged in" - like poetry itself.

Because the structure of the poem uses enjambment the entire length, Heaney k*****d ***** 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 ***** poem has that same continuous motion as well.

In the poem it is clear that Heaney sees ***** boyhood old-world family lifestyle as a met*****phor, and all ***** things that ***** ***** of those experiences are building blocks ***** his storytelling. But he shows how highly intelligent he is by ***** 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 ***** license to pour forth w*****h images and metaphors, but he handles this poem with grace, the ***** as his family handled the chores of ***** food with grace and deliberation.

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

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

First, a look *****t his Nobel ***** shows that in his boyhood,

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