Seamus Heaney's manual impressions
Dunleavy, Rachel Lynn.
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. This thesis proposes that readers would do well to pause over the "physicality" of Heaney's presentation of manual labor, noting carefully the particulars of each "well defined, useful well crafted object." This approach does deny that the metaphors connect writing poetry to working the land but, rather, considers carefully the ways in which Heaney presents the activities, persons and objects of manual labor as unique. I explore why and how he so often anchors his reflections on the work and the people who perform it in the material objects associated with that work. Refraining for awhile from supposing that Heaney loves and translates an old poem about the forging of a spade only because it reminds him of his own expertise will, I posit, allow for better understanding of the crafts of both the poet and the "blacksmith," an understanding which can ennoble both professions as it enriches our reading of Heaney's poetry.
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