Home > Books > Poetry > O Poetry > Open Ground Poems 1966-1996 - Seamus Heaney

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Community Level 1twixfix2003


an introduction to the poetry of heaney

Advantagesinspirational poet

Disadvantagespolitical undertones

"When analyzing the writings of Seamus Heaney, it is often important to take into account the situation of the poet himself to enable the reader to put his poetry into context. Heaney's poetry is particularly influenced by the history and politics of his home country Ireland and a strong theme of politics runs through the majority of his works. The extent to which this theme is exploited varies from the implicit 'Digging' to the explicitly political ..." Read review

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Community Level 1baggyman


The continuation of Irish Post-modernism in Poetry

AdvantagesHe is the voice of a live poet

DisadvantagesHistorical knowledge of Ireland needs to be considered

"Opened Ground is the greatest introduction that any reader of contemporary Irish poetry should endeavour to obtain. Heaney demonstrates an ability to find a very suttle voice from the fragments of a dis-membered 'Northern' Irish Catholic community. It is hard not to see him as the likely heir to the crown left by W.B Yeats in the earlier part of this century. As a poet 'Heaney' is at best human and at worst selfless, there is no great ideological ..." Read review

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Community Level 2Doni07


Death of a 'Great culture'

AdvantagesVery readable. A lot of good techniques.

DisadvantagesNot long enough!

"'Death Of A Naturalist' I am going to be focusing on one of the most compelling poems in this book of Irish poems which is Death of A Naturalist. This is one of the most, I think, best ideas for a poem as it contains both side of an arguement, a very hard thing to do in a poem. I think Irish poems don't get a lot of credit from modern day reviewers. It has kind of been 'swept under the mat' which I think is extremely wrong. At the opening of ..." Read review

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Community Level 1amandabeaton



Advantagesgood read

Disadvantagesthe poem has to end

"“Follower” by Seamus Heaney is a thought-provoking poem. It raises issues such as childhood, growing up and old age. Heaney adds power to his consideration of these issues by his use of effective language. Each of these issues are vividly developed throughout the poem. Heaney introduces the theme of childhood by stressing the admiration that he had shown towards his father. Growing up is conveyed when Heaney states that he wants to be ..." Read review

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Community Level 2joewcarpen...


Heaney's exploration of grief in Mid-term Break

AdvantagesVery rich.

DisadvantagesA bit hard-going!

"My favorite poem by Seamus Heaney is Mid-term Break, and i am particularly captivated by the way he explores grief. In the 1950's Seamus Heaney's brother, who was four at the time, was hit and killed by a car. Seamus was at boarding school at the time and recalls to us what happened immediately after the accident. To start with Heaney begins by describing how he sat in the sick-bay waiting for some-one to come and pick him up. Although he is ..." Read review

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Community Level 1redadmiral6


Digging the Opened Ground

Advantagesstrong and touching poems, consistently thrilling to read

Disadvantagescan only be dipped into from time to time

"...a book which you can open at any page and find a gem. In one poem Heaney talks of how his forefathers dug the ground, but how he would spend his life 'digging' with his pen. This analogy is striking throughout the collection, as there is something earthy and solid in his works. The connections with the natural world give his poems a striking strength and beauty. The words in each poem are so carefully selected and placed that they seem to provide ..." Read review

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