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 is both a history lesson and a reflection of *****'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 ***** and "plunged in" - like poetry itself.

Because t***** structure of the poem uses enjambment the entire length, Heaney kind of gives the reader a sense of the movement of the h*****s churning, moving, continu*****lly. When you make butter, you don't stop for a while and rest; you keep turning, churning, and the ***** 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 ***** things that ***** part of those experiences are building blocks for ***** 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 the license to pour forth with images and metaphors, but he handles this poem ***** grace, the same as his family handled the chores of making food with ***** and deliberation.

In ***** lecture to the ***** Foundation, Heaney explains ***** he was ***** "eldest child of an every-growing family." That family 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 like shrewd *****nd productive animals, living off the land and cooperating ***** one another the way ***** natural world operates. Rabbits have their communities and ***** babies ***** born, they become part of that little *****; and the ***** with mice, ***** ants, and squirrels. He doesn't have to mention ***** species because he ***** given the reader and the listener the word "*****," and that is ***** for the active mind to take it from there. Nature has its way, and life moves *****ward ***** of rituals and duties.

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

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


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