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, into 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 *****'s 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 the movement ***** the hands 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 the poem it is clear that ***** sees his boyhood old-world family lifestyle as a metaphor, and all ***** things that were ***** 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, ***** does not let the tools of 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 ***** as his family handled the chores of making food with ***** and deliberation.

***** his lecture to the ***** Foundation, Heaney explains ***** he was t***** "eldes***** child of an every-growing family." That family 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 **********, living off the land and cooperating with one another the ***** ***** natural world operates. Rabbits have their communities and when babies ***** born, they become part of that little *****; ***** the same 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 ***** for the active mind ***** take it from there. Nature has its way, and life moves forward because of rituals and duties.

For Heaney, everything that happened in h***** family life, and in t*****e surround*****gs and materials ***** his existence, caused something else to happen. This is the substance of h***** poem, as well, because each action causes another action, or a reaction - a product - b*****ed on the initial acti*****. And like the poet who is skillful in ***** economy of w*****ds, the ***** becomes trained to observe ***** pragmatism of those *****s and results, just like the young eyes ***** 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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