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

Because t***** s*****ructure of the poem uses enjambment the entire length, Heaney k*****d ***** gives the reader a sense of ***** 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 ***** ***** 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 ***** 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 and emotion. Still, he does not let the tools ***** poetry overpower the poem. As a poet he ***** the license to pour forth w*****h images ***** metaphors, but he handles this poem with grace, the same as his family handled the chores of ***** food with grace and deliberation.

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

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

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


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