Tuesday, April 1, 2008


The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.

The sound and diction of this portion touches upon the deeper feel of the poem and heightens Heaney's piece. When referring to the "squelch and slap of soggy peat," these chosen onomatopoeias act to "awaken [themselves] in [Heaney's] head," and likewise the reader's. This subtle move by Heaney then reveals an exposé of painted living imagery. As such, they highlight the stark reality inherent in Heaney's father and grandfather's work , before transition smoothely into the vaguely different, yet similar, work of Heaney and his "squat pen." As the onomatopoeias are not provided for Heaney's "finger and [his] thumb, [and where] The squat pen rests", then we can only deduce there is an intrinsic difference between the work of him and his father/grandfather.

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