Follower heaney analysis. An analysis of "Follower" by Seamus Heaney 2022-10-21

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Seamus Heaney was an Irish poet who was born in 1939 and passed away in 2013. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest poets of the 20th century, and his work is known for its themes of nature, history, and the human experience. One of Heaney's most well-known poems is "Follower," which was published in 1966 as part of his first collection, "Death of a Naturalist."

"Follower" is a poem that reflects on Heaney's relationship with his father, who was a farmer. The poem describes the physical labor and hard work involved in farming, as well as the sense of connection and pride that Heaney's father felt towards the land. The speaker in the poem is the young Seamus Heaney, who is watching his father at work and trying to emulate him.

The poem begins with the speaker describing his father's work as a farmer: "My father worked with a horse-plough, / His shoulder deep in the furrow, / I stumbled in his hob-nailed wake, / Fell sometimes on the polished sod." The speaker is following in his father's footsteps, trying to understand and learn from him. The imagery of the horse-plough and the furrow suggests the physical labor and hard work involved in farming, while the mention of the hob-nailed boots suggests the ruggedness and strength of the father.

The speaker then describes how his father would plough the fields in a particular pattern, making "a long scar" in the land: "He would set the wing, / Fit the bright bolt, / Falling plumb and straight." The imagery of the wing and the bolt suggests the precision and skill involved in the work, and the use of the word "plumb" suggests the father's sense of balance and stability.

The speaker then reflects on how he would try to imitate his father's work, but he was never able to match his strength or skill: "I was a nuisance, tripping, falling, / Yapping always. / But he, I think, / For all his gentle words, / Had a rough love for me." The speaker's clumsy attempts at imitating his father are contrasted with the father's rough but loving approach.

The poem ends with the speaker reflecting on the sense of connection and pride that his father had towards the land: "His body moved / In a long yoke, / Trailing his shadow / In a long yoke, / Mapping the meadow, / Mapping the back furrow." The imagery of the yoke and the shadow suggests the father's sense of responsibility and connection to the land, and the mention of "mapping" suggests the way in which the father was able to understand and navigate the land.

In "Follower," Seamus Heaney reflects on his relationship with his father and the physical labor and hard work involved in farming. The poem explores themes of nature, family, and the human experience, and it captures the sense of connection and pride that the father had towards the land. Through its vivid imagery and evocative language, "Follower" offers a powerful tribute to the hardworking men and women who work the land.

Follower

follower heaney analysis

Extracts from this document. He is 'An expert' with the horse-plough and Heaney as a little boy would simply get in his father's way. It almost seems selfish, but possibly shows how people do find caring for their elderly relatives a difficult thing to do. Both of these lines creates an imagery of being questioned for something you have done. In 'Follower' Heaney presents us with a very vivid picture of his father as he appeared to the poet as a young boy. This implies that the speaker grew up to do something other than farming, even though he had always wanted to be like his father. By the time he was 74 he died on the 30 of August in Dublin.

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An analysis of "Follower" by Seamus Heaney

follower heaney analysis

His father is now, due to his age, stumbling and struggling to keep up but perseveres. I was a nuisance, tripping, falling, Yapping always. I feel that the boy will regret not having and knowing what it is that makes you who you are, and may never get a chance to have and hold a special bond with one of the people who brought him into the world. The poem was published in 1966 in Death of a Naturalist. The speaker longed to be like his father but felt that somehow he was inherently different.

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Close analysis of Follower by Seamus Heaney

follower heaney analysis

While industrialization has alienated man from his land and his fellow beings, the agricultural past, in fact, bought and kept the man close to both. The tone of the poem is quitereminiscent and it is obvious that the poet when he was young was in awe of his father. Now that he is himself an adult, Heaney acknowledges that the father he hero-worshipped as a young boy has grown old and needs as much tolerance and patience as he himself once showed his son. In relation to Bluebeard, the wives curiosity as to what he had hidden in the closet, which lead to their untimely deaths, you could use the metaphor "curiosity killed the cat" here. Back in his youth there was no conflict, well, not as much anyway.

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Heaney's Follower Poem Analysis Free Essay Example

follower heaney analysis

The poem also suggests the theme of growth, at the beginning of the poem he is a young boy, who looks up to hisfather. My view of Heaney write about the past a lot, is him trying to relive them days again with the people effected to day. Slant rhyme is also called half rhyme, near rhyme, or oblique rhyme. Even though in this context he is walking around with his Father, it could imply that Heaney never aided his father in anyway; he observed but never contributed in useful means. The father now looks to his son as someone he is proud of and depends on, just as the speaker did when he was young.

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Follower, Seamus Heaney Poem Analysis/Annotations

follower heaney analysis

The author uses his baby sister to symbolize the innocence and youth he no longer has, he is basically the only child his parents can truly lean on. Some lines have a rhythm which suggest the ruggedness of the ploughman and the rhythm of the ploughing. It is interesting to note that many of the later poems in this collection, Death of a Naturalist, describe his developing relationship with Marie Devlin, his future wife the collection is dedicated to her. He also controlled the horses merely by clicking his tongue, showing how skilled he is. This could also be an oxymoron between present fighting and killing to the peaceful farm work.

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Analysis of Heaney's Poem Follower

follower heaney analysis

An elderly man reflects on his relationship with his father, also a ploughman, and how he wasn't allowed to plough. Here, the beginning of a metaphor that will be used throughout the poem can be established. The sod rolled over without breaking. All I ever did was follow In his broad shadow round the farm. This technique is used to mirror the movement of the plow itself as it slides through the ground. The admiration and awe for his father seem to dissipate, as does the respect. Furthermore, there is an expected reaction to death that includes extreme displays of sadness and grief, which is not consistently true.

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Critical Analysis Of Follower By Seamus Heaney

follower heaney analysis

All I ever did was follow In his broad shadow around the farm. The poet repeats that the sod is perfect, and he is the one who falls into it and ruins it. What the poet observed on the field, he wrote in this poem. He continues to emphasize this by adding how he constantly falls on the ground when following his father as well. At the headrig, with a single pluck.

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Seamus Heaney Follower Analysis

follower heaney analysis

It helps to maintain grip and reduce sliding and slipping. This narrator is in awe of the power and ability that his father possesses. I choose Heaney because he is rather contemporary author, most of his works published in the mid to late twentieth century, and his poems were simple yet beautiful. However, quite tragically the speaker feels that he is a let-down and a failure by not learning and instead just following his father around the farm. The poem resonates with the audience because it flows smoothly and is easy to read. The father becomes the follower, and the son is the leader.

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