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Out of the nine muses three of them were named after poetry, Callilope, Erato, and Enterpe.Heaney through out the poem draws parallels to the idea about a clear source of inspiration like the Helicon guarded by the Muses.
In the poem “Digging” Heaney describes the deftness and dexterity in which his father performs his job as a farmer.
Heaney’s family profession has always been farming “the old man could handle a spade Just like his old man”.
The poem ends with a shocking line “A four foot box, foot for every year”.
This last line is effective because it gives the reader a clear picture of how small and young this child was when he died The “four foot box” gives the reader an image of a small coffin, which is always a shocking sight.
The tone through out the poem is not emotional, or sad, but rather distant, and stoic.
Heaney may of done this to show that he did feel separated from his family, and maybe that is because he was the first to be educated.Heaney starts the poem off by saying “The squat pen rests; snug as a gun”.This simile draws parallels with the phrase “The pen is mightier than the sword”, which indicates that Heaney feels as though writing is an effective weapon, and gives the impression of power at Heaney’s fingertips.Out of the four poems in the first section I think that this poem mentions the most about Heaney and his family, and has many themes that relate to family life.In this poem Heaney shows how deeply effected his family was after the death of the child “I met my father crying”.Even though this poem reveals a lot about Heaney and his family, I prefer the poem “Personal Helicon” as it focuses mainly on Heaney and his source of inspiration for writing poems.“Personal Helicon” in my view is the best of the poems in the first section.These issues are fused together with the personal acceptance of becoming a poet and his experience of growing up.I will be looking at the first four poems in the Death of a Naturalist collection in particular the techniques that Heaney uses to present himself and his family, in order to create poignancy and engage those who are reading his work.The poems in Death of a Naturalist are centred on his personal search for his identity, and his feelings towards his family.While looking at these poems it becomes clear to the reader that Heaney’s Irish heritage, are entwined with his identity, his views, and his family.