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 the corporate world were far from becoming part of Europe. The poem ***** both a history lesson and a reflection of *****'s agricultural upbringing. It is also in a very real way a testament to h***** s*****arp 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 ***** poem uses enjambment the entire length, Heaney kind of gives the reader a sense ***** the movement of the h*****s churning, moving, continually. When you make butter, you don't stop for a while and rest; you keep turning, *****, 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 metaphor, and all the things that ***** part of those experiences are building blocks for his storytelling. But he shows how highly intelligent he is by his strategic use of words - just enough descriptiveness ***** emotion. Still, ***** does not let the tools ***** poetry overpower the poem. As a poet he has ***** license to pour forth with images and metaphors, but he h*****les this poem ***** grace, the same as his family handled the chores of ***** food with ***** and deliberation.

***** his lecture to the Nobel Foundation, Heaney explains ***** he was the "eldest child of an every-growing family." That family was crowded together in three rooms ***** a thatched farmhouse. The experience, he explained, was intimate and "physical" and "creaturely" - which suggests that he and his ***** 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 ***** born, they become part of that little *****; ***** the same with mice, and ants, and squirrels. He doesn't have to mention ***** species because he has given the reader and ***** listener the word "creaturely," ***** that is enough for the active mind to take it from there. Nature ***** *****s way, and life moves ********** because ***** rituals and duties.

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

First, a look ********** ***** Nobel lecture ***** that in his boyhood,

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