Flashcards in Death Of A Naturalist Deck (11):
What is it about
The poem describes the memories of a young boy who has been collecting frogspawn from a flax-dam
What are the themes
Humans Vs Nature
What is the context
Heaney’s with nature as a boy. A metaphor for the loss of his childhood innocence, as he looks back wistfully at his youthful naivety.
What’s the structure
2 distinct stanzas- the 2nd is very negative in tone, the poem is quite conversational.
Iambic pentameter, enjambment, caesuras, lots of onomatopoeia. Like he’s recounting a true event
“All year the flax- dam festered in the heart”
Place where flax (a plant to make linen) is soaked to soften it.
He loves to spend time there
“But best of all was the warm thick slobber”
He enjoys watching all the new life grow in the pond
“Angry frogs invade”
Doesn’t like how they have matured
“The great slime kings were gathered there for vengeance”
Revenge for collecting the tadpoles
What is the first stanza about
Innocence of the boy. Keen to learn about the frogs.
Sounds and image fused. Peaceful and idyllic.
What is the second stanza about
He is sickened by reality. Horror. Negative use of senses