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 ***** 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 ***** both a history lesson ***** a reflection of *****'s agricultural upbringing. It is also in a very real way a testament to h***** sharp eye and attentive ears towards the culture ***** rural Ireland in which he was steeped ***** and "plunged in" - like poetry itself.

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

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

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

For Heaney, everything that happened in h***** family life, ***** in t*****e surroundings and materials ***** his existence, caused something else to happen. This is the substance of h***** *****, as well, because eac***** action causes another action, or a reaction - a product - b*****sed on the initial acti*****. And like the ***** who is skillful in the 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 ********** his Nobel lecture shows that in his boyhood,


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