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on 18 April 2018

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Transcript of 'Trout'

by Seamus heaney
Poem analysis

Main Idea
Heaney uses various literary devices to emphasize the nature's beauty and to describe the trout’s movement and rapidness.
Presented by Gisselle Cavagliano, Alejandra Díaz, Pedro Esteban, Sana Horikawa, and Sebastián Najri
Lack of Form
Violent Imagery
Alliterations in the poem are shown to express the fast arbitrary movement of the trout when it is swimming. An alliteration is shown in “darts like a tracer-/bullet back between stones”. The sound of the letter “b” makes a bounce between words, reflecting on the jumping trout, trying to get its prey.
Subject Matter
Heaney uses similes to compare the similarity
of a trout’s movement to something humans
are familiar with. He uses this literary device in, “slips like butter down/the throat of the river” and “darts like a tracer-/bullet”. Heaney asserts the similes after the verb, describing the movement of the trout. He uses similes to help the reader have a better understanding and clear images of the actions.
Personification is shown in the poem to give human features to the relationship of the water and trout. The personification in the first stanza “slips like butter down/the throat of a river” is used to give the reader a tangible description of the movement of the trout in the river. It can be interpreted as how the trout is being “gulped down” the river with a slippery move.
The subject matter in this poem is a trout. They live in freshwater and it spends most of the time eating, swimming swiftly upstream. Trouts jump out of water to catch its prey and eat anything including insects, shrimps, flies, etc.
The poem has 5 stanzas, and the first 4 have 4 lines within them. The last stanza only has one. This lack of form emphasizes the reader the outstanding actions and movements of the trout, where the river has a constant yet continuous current. It also lacks a rhyme scheme.
Violent Imagery
Heaney uses violent imagery to symbolize the trout’s speed against the flow. This can be demonstrated when he asserts “fat gun-barrel”, “torpedoed”, “darts like a tracer-bullet”, and “volley”. These war-like terms inform the reader the trout’s rapidness and how it is like a weapon in the way trout's are fast and violent with its moves.
This can be compared with the poem “Waterfall” by Seamus Heaney. In the poem “Waterfall”, he uses words that have positive and negative meaning to express the waterfall’s part and importance in nature, but also informing us how it is harsh and harmful. In this poem “Trout”, Heaney contrasts the trout with brutal figures, but still tells the reader what an ordinary action it is taking in order to live. But humans may be perceived as brutal too, from another point of view.
Heaney uses enjambments in the poem to make a transition from the 4th to 5th stanza. The enjambment can be shown when the speaker says, “A volley of cold blood//ramrodding the current.”. This transmits the reader through a sense the river’s motion representing the current’s flow. The enjambment also makes the reader rush into the next stanza, reflecting on the river’s fast and rushing flow that the trout is going against to.
The tone used in the poem can be interpreted as a naturalist but with maturity. The poem includes descriptive phrases about nature like “he/is fired from the shallows/white belly reporting” which can be compared to the poem “Death of a Naturalist” because they both talk about nature in a mature, realist way.
Heaney uses both present and past tense in this
poem. The majority is in present tense and one can
infer that this is for the reader to imagine and
feel it too, while reading this poem. The speaker also
might of have used present tense to emphasize that
the river’s current is still ongoing and hasn’t stopped, nor it won’t stop. The present tense is written to describe the trout and water’s smooth movement. However, the speaker sometimes uses verbs in past tense with violent connotations such as “torpedoed”, “fired”, and “burnt”. The past tense is written to explain the trout’s rapidness.
The themes of this poem are nature and purity. These themes relate to each other because the environment with clean water and the trout makes an ideal image of nature. The trout represents the purity of nature and emphasizes the beauty of nature. It also portrays the interaction between the living and nonliving. These two coexisting, makes the biosphere so pleasing.
Point of View
The point of view in the poem is 3rd objective person, since there are no “I” or “you” pronouns. Heaney talks from a human’s point of view and it and makes the trout sound far away, away from all human activities, where there is peace.
Full transcript