Two poems for comparison by Seamus Heaney ("Churning day" and "An advancement of learning"). Describing the use of Imagery/viewpoint/atmosphere for comparison.

Essay by AmincubusHigh School, 11th grade January 2003

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The poet I will be focusing on in my essay is Seamus Heaney and his two poems I will be comparing are "Churning Day" and "An Advancement of learning". Heaney was born into a farming family from the north of Ireland in 1939. His poetry mainly seems to handle different themes of love, death, generation, and memories. They all hold a strong dramatic sense. Many of Heaney's early poems deal with his past childhood experiences and how he overcomes different situations as a young child. A theme he uses especially in "An Advancement of learning" is how different experiences affect us, also how just the smallest moment or thing said in our life can change the way we look on the world. In "An Advancement of Learning" he reminisces back to a childhood fear that he confronted a Rat. In "Churning Day" a more pleasant situation but still equally memorable, also from his childhood, 'butter making'.

Which in his childhood was done on the farm using the farms own milk. In "Churning Day" he vividly tells us of the sights, sounds and smells of a typical churning day. In "An Advancement of Learning" he also uses different senses to help us imagine exactly how he felt at the time. The way he calls it "an advancement?" seems to suggest to us that there were plenty more moments in his childhood that helped him to learn something else about himself or the world.

Both poems I am looking at contrast on each other, "Churning Day" a pleasant, exciting memory and "An advancement of Learning" A fear confronted, but also exciting in a different way, memory. "Churning Days" subject matter and theme is about an exciting, happy day on a farm when they make butter from the...