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 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 ***** both a history lesson ***** a reflection of ********** agricultural upbringing. It is also in a very real way a testament to h***** s*****arp eye and 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 ***** the movement of the h*****s churning, moving, continually. When you make butter, ***** don't stop for a while and rest; you keep turning, *****, 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 for ***** storytelling. But he shows how highly intelligent he is by his strategic use of words - just enough descriptiveness and 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 with grace, the same as his family handled the chores of making food with grace and deliberation.

In his lecture to the Nobel Foundation, Heaney explains ***** he was t***** "eldest child of an e*****-growing family." That ***** was crowded together in three rooms in a th*****tched 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 ***** one another the ***** the natural world operates. Rabbits have their communities and ***** babies are born, they become part of ***** little *****; ***** the ***** with mice, and ants, and squirrels. He ********** have to mention ***** species because he has given the reader and ***** listener the word "*****," and that is enough for the active mind to take it from there. Nature ***** *****s way, and life moves forward ***** ***** rituals and duties.

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

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

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