Emotional Invocation in Seamus Heaneys Work
Poetry is one of the most interesting creative arts to explore. It involves the expression of the authors idea in a fluent and somewhat melodious manner. Most poets use their works to speak to target audiences about a variety of issues. Each author, however, has unique styles of communication and connecting with the audience. Seamus Heaney is among the most iconic poets in history. From my interaction with his work, I detect the use of words that arouse deep emotions in the readers to enable them to understand the central theme of each work. Seamus Heaney uses symbols and rhyme among other literary devices to enhance the nature of invoking feelings with his poems. In Digging, Blackberry Picking and Mid-Term Break Heaney awakens different emotions in the reader in light of the various themes he covers. These sentiments make it easier for the reader to be a part of the poem dynamics, hence understanding it better. Seamus Heaney, therefore, employs emotion invoking styles to deliver his messages to his audience as evidenced in the analysis of three of his most famous poems.
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Emotional influence of a poem is one of the best ways to capture attention and imagination of a reader. It allows him to relate to the situation in a poem, hence comprehend the author better. In his poem Digging, Heaney uses different stylistic devices to engage the emotions of the reader. In this verse, he invokes the feeling of admiration for his father. The author describes how his father was doing the farming activities of digging and planting potatoes. He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep / To scatter new potatoes that we picked. This picture portrays an industrious man who deserves to be admired for his farming skills and arduous work.
It is important to understand that manual farming is one of the hardest things to do. Ploughing the ground and planting need commitment and dedication. The fact that Heaneys farther could engage in these activities passionately gives enough reason to think highly of him. This depiction of his parent causes the audience to admire his ability to work hard. Further, Heaney demonstrates that his father was not like any other farmer. By God, the old man could handle a spade. Through the feeling of admiration, the audience is able to understand the deep-seated truths and fundamentals of this poem. First, the readers are able to grasp that Heaney was born and raised on a farm. His father was a good farmer, and it was traditionally expected for the author to follow the footsteps of his parent. Moreover, the poem evokes a sense of value of farming. It is also revealed that Heaney did not acquire skills in farming because he knew it was not his purpose in life. However, he admired this activity. The author looked through the window and watched with pleasure how his father performed his duties. Heaney only felt it was not his calling to be a farmer. He concludes in the last three lines that Between my finger and my thumb / The squat pen rests Ill dig with it. The author shows that farming is not bad, nevertheless his vocation is writing. The verse also makes the readers realize the fact that children might enjoy and love what their parents do, but they still might have other goals and aspirations. Throughout this poem, Heaney describes the duties of his father with precision allowing the audience to be a part of the elegance and beauty of farming, hence admiring the farther. The emotional feeling of admiration invoked in a reader, therefore, forms the core of understanding this poem.
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In the other verse Mid-Term Break, Heaney instills the emotions of sympathy in the audience. This feeling is critical to the perception of the poem. Heaney describes the situation when his younger brother died. The reader can sense the pain that the family is enduring. The audience becomes sympathetic when Heaney uses imagery in the fourth stanza. He states that In the porch, I met my father crying. The reader can have a picture of a grown-up man sitting on a porch crying from the pain of losing his son. The other moment in this poem that awakens compassion is the scene with Heaneys mother. He explains that In hers and coughed out angry tearless sighs. With these lines, Heaney also evokes strong feelings. The audience imagines a mother who has lost her boy. She is still in confusion and does not even know what to do. She is not crying but gets easily irritated; she feels furious about her loss. She is speechless and one can only tell her pain from the angry but tearless sighs. The mothers position also invokes emotional feelings of commiseration. The audience imagines how devastating it must be for Heaneys family to experience such a loss.
The sixth and the seventh stanzas are the most emotional ones that leave the readers deeply sympathizing with Heaney. In these lines, the author describes how he heads for his brothers room where his corpse lays. Heaney has not seen him for six weeks. He had been in boarding school, ...I was the eldest/ Away at school.... It is quite disheartening not to see ones brother for six weeks only to come home and see him in a coffin. The reader can already sense the feeling of anguish and pain that the author is experiencing. For the first time, his brother was lying pale unable to talk. He further confirms the cause of death, an accident. No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear. How saddening it is to lose a loved one from an abrupt and unexpected death as that caused by an accident. This poem, in general, invokes the feeling of sympathy in the audience. Through the sympathy, the readers are able to relate to the situation the author is in and understand the message of the poem.
In Blackberry Picking, Heaney awakens two critical emotions in the audience that cause the readers to grasp the central theme of the poem. It arouses the feelings of excitement and disappointment. The two different stanzas talk about unique aspects of anticipation and disillusion. In the first line of this poem, Heaney expresses his expectation that the blackberries would ripen in one week, since there was all evidence for it. Late August, given heavy rain and sun. There were a few berries that had already started ripening, and they were sweet to consume. Heaney anticipates to be feeding on more of them very soon. The audience develops a feeling of excitement as it reads the first stanza. The reader expects that the author will talk about the more exciting feeling of eating blackberries. The excitement also arises from the fact that the anticipation is assured. The author makes it definite that the blackberries will ripen. After all, there are a few that are ready for consumption, and the weather is also favorable. In the first stanza, Heaney foresees no challenge that can prevent the ripening of the berries.
However, in the second stanza, an unexpected challenge arises. Fungi infect the blackberries and they start to rot. A rat-grey fungus, glutting on our cache. Thus, the reader is left terribly disappointed. The expectation has failed. Blackberry Picking reflects the experience in life when people get excited about their hopes and aspirations. They begin working hard to fulfill their dreams. However, they do not think of the challenges that might arise and prevent them from reaching their goals. All of a sudden something unexpected strikes and people get a reality dose on the rough path to achieving their dreams. In this poem, therefore, the audiences feelings of excitement and disappointment make it easier to comprehend the mood and basics of it.
In conclusion, poetry remains one of the most interesting forms of art. Emotional invoking forms the core of Seamus Heaneys works. The author styles his imagery and choice of words to awaken deep emotions in the audience. This statement is proved by the feelings of admiration that he causes the readers to have through his poem Digging. Heaney also compels the audience to sympathize with him and his family as he describes their reaction to the death of his brother. His explanations of how his parents behave at the funeral cause the readers to develop compassion for his family, hence comprehending the main idea of the poem. Further, in Blackberry Picking, Heaney makes the audience feel excitement and disappointment with his poem. In my understanding, Heaney remains an iconic poet because of his ability to make the readers grasp the emotional dynamics essential to the understanding of his works.
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