It is divided into seven stanzas, each of which contains four lines. These are known as quatrains. Heaney uses half or slant rhymes throughout the poem. These are seen through the repetition of assonance or consonance.

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The speaker begins the first stanza by saying what the bogland is not like: the open American prairies, with clear lines in the horizon for the sun to set behind.

The speaker also begins the poem in the first person plural. This seems to indicate that the poem represents a general perspective, not an individual one. This is also reflected in the way the speaker refers to "the eye" as a general feature instead of reflection what an individual person sees. The eye seems to turn inward, away from the horizon and into the depths of the earth and water. The next stanza focuses on a skeleton of a Great Irish Elk, an extinct species of deer, that was removed from the peat and set up as a fossil.

The speaker marvels at it, describing it as an "astounding crate of air," which seems to refer to the emptiness within the skeleton. The following stanza turns to other objects uncovered during excavation of the peat. Analysis "Bogland" by Seamus Heaney is split into seven stanzas with four lines each, and it follows no specific rhyme scheme, meter, or form, but its even, sparse lines fit the melancholy tone. The poem begins by focusing on the lack of open horizons that would neatly cut the sun at sunset.

By describing how the bog becomes crusty from the sun every day, the speaker shows how unchanging the landscape is. The comparisons of the bogs and tarns to eyes breathe life into Irish landscape; these wetlands appear watchful yet silent and imbued with the power to pull in any observers. The speaker describes the skeleton as an "astounding crate of air," which emphasizes both the impressiveness of the discovery and its ultimate hollowness.

The bogs have the effect of preserving the past, but they do little for the present or future; this issue arises later in the poem when the speaker brings up forms of fuel that are easier to harvest. By describing the ground as "kind" and "melting and opening," the speaker indicates tender feelings for the bogland, which yields compliantly.

However, the speaker then points out that this ground is not at its "last definition," i. This emphasizes the sense of inadequacy that the landscape of this poem is heavy with. This image echoes the Great Irish Elk. Like the elk skeleton, while preserved tree trunks are interesting to discover, they are not useful. Like the mention of the prairies in stanza one, this part of the poem seems to compare the Irish bogs to the North American prairies, and these pioneers to the American ones.

In direct opposition to the American explorers, who explored the possibilities of the future, these pioneers explore the history of Ireland, which is a futile exercise. The final stanza makes it clear that these paths have been tread before, or appear to have been.

The idea that this journey of inward discovery has been done before emphasizes its unproductive nature. This image is ambiguous, but if the pioneers are digging into the past through the bogs, it seems that this task is ceaseless.


Bogland by Seamus Heaney: Summary and Analysis

The bogholes might be Atlantic seepage. The wet centre is bottomless. In Ireland there is always something getting in the way, the horizon wins because it is always trespassing into vision. Second Stanza A comma ends the first stanza so the pause is not so pronounced as the reader moves on. And the speaker becomes a spokesperson for the island of Ireland - Our unfenced country - again comparing to the American plains which are also unfenced and open. The bogland is ongoing crusty country.


Bogland by Seamus Heaney

Literary Terms Bogland by Seamus Heaney: Summary and Analysis The speaker says they have no wide open land to cut a big sun in the evening. Everywhere the eye accepts encroaching horizon unwillingly. Their unfenced country is a bog that keeps crusting between the sights of the sun. Seamus Heaney The colonizers have taken away the skeleton of great Irish elk deer. This skeleton had been set up as an astounding crate full of air.

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