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 Day, is a wonderful journey into the past, ***** the old ways of making butter when technology and the 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 ***** and "plunged in" - like poetry itself.

Because the structure of the ***** uses enjambment the entire length, Heaney k*****d of gives the reader a sense ***** ***** movement of the h*****nds 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 ***** sees his boyhood old-world family lifestyle as a met*****phor, and all the things that ***** part of those experiences are building blocks for his storytelling. But he shows how highly intelligent he is by ***** strategic use of words - just enough descriptiveness ***** e*****. Still, he does not let the tools of poetry overpower the poem. As a poet he ***** ***** license to pour forth with images and metaphors, but he handles this poem ***** grace, the same as his family handled the chores of ***** food with grace and deliberation.

***** his lecture to the ***** Foundation, Heaney explains ***** he was t***** "eldes***** child of an every-growing family." That ***** was crowded together in three rooms in a thatched farmhouse. The experience, he explained, was intimate *****d "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 ***** babies are born, they become ***** of ***** little culture; ***** the same with mice, and ants, and squirrels. He ********** have to mention ***** species because he has given the reader and the listener the word "creaturely," ***** that is ***** for the active mind ***** take it ***** there. Nature has its way, and life moves ********** because of rituals and duties.

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

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


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