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Analysis of 'Bogland' by Seamus Heaney

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Sydney Makena

on 3 November 2014

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Transcript of Analysis of 'Bogland' by Seamus Heaney

Structure, Tone, and Themes
1st
and
2nd
Stanza
3rd
and
4th
Stanza
5th
,
6th
, and
7th
Stanza
Bogland
Description of Poem
for T. P. Flanagan

We have no prairies
To slice a big sun at evening--
Everywhere the eye concedes to
Encrouching horizon,

Is wooed into the cyclops' eye
Of a tarn. Our unfenced country
Is bog that keeps crusting
Between the sights of the sun.

They've taken the skeleton
Of the Great Irish Elk
Out of the peat, set it up
An astounding crate full of air.
Analysis of Bogland
By Seamus Heaney
Butter sunk under
More than a hundred years
Was recovered salty and white.
The ground itself is kind, black butter

Melting and opening underfoot,
Missing its last definition
By millions of years.
They'll never dig coal here,

Only the waterlogged trunks
Of great firs, soft as pulp.
Our pioneers keep striking
Inwards and downwards,

Every layer they strip
Seems camped on before.
The bogholes might be Atlantic seepage.
The wet centre is bottomless.
for T. P. Flanagan

We have no prairies
To slice a big sun at evening--
Everywhere the eye concedes to
Encrouching horizon,
Is wooed into the cyclops' eye
Of a tarn. Our unfenced country
Is bog that keeps crusting
Between the sights of the sun.
They've taken the skeleton
Of the Great Irish Elk
Out of the peat, set it up
An astounding crate full of air.
Butter sunk under
More than a hundred years
Was recovered salty and white.
The ground itself is kind, black butter

Melting and opening underfoot,
Missing its last definition
By millions of years.
They'll never dig coal here,
Only the waterlogged trunks
Of great firs, soft as pulp.
Our pioneers keep striking
Inwards and downwards,
Every layer they strip
Seems camped on before.
The bogholes might be Atlantic seepage.
The wet centre is bottomless
3rd
4th
'ing' verbs
Structure
Tone
Themes
human influence in nature
1st
Refers to Ireland
2nd
5th
6th
7th
ancient Irish deer
Refers to artwork in Western Culture
Free Verse
No Rhyme or Rhythm
Reflects the bog and how it is unpredictable
Irish landscape/Nature
History
7 stanzas
4 lines per stanza
long sounding vowels - links to the sound of the bog
represents how long the bog has been there
they will never find coal - all there is is bog
enjambment - sentence continues to the next stanza
'waterlogged trunks' - decomposed trees in the bogland
'only' - there is no hope to find anything else
metaphor - everything is decomposed and soft in the bog
What are the pioneers looking for? Are they just seeing how far the bog goes? They will find nothing
the bog is never ending
There is no hope to find anything in the bog
The bog continues, there is never an end
Links to the power of nature - the world is preserving - not consuming
Links to the history of Ireland - the memory of the land
Admirable and amazed at how large and powerful the bog is
'Our'
Negative Tone
Sun
Aspect of Irish Language?
Tension
Blanket Bogs
Peat is boggy ground
note the capitalization
alliteration
tone of awe/ amazement
appreciation for landscape
description of what they just found
alliteration
THE END
Metaphor
Personification
Hindering
unrestricted
Narrative Voice
Jargon
Full transcript