Childhood Memories In Seamus Heaney's 'Personal Helicon'

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“Personal Helicon” Childhood memories are usually those which shape an individual 's future. The type of people and the environment an individual is around shapes the person they are today. One example is Seamus Heaney, who once called himself a naturalist. His collection of poems, “The Death of a Naturalist” reflects his childhood memories. The title is ironic as once he grew older and continued to explore nature, events occur causing the naturalist in him to gradually go away . Heaney documents these events in his collection of poems. “Personal helicon” is a famous poem by Heaney and describes one of his childhood memories where his naturalist days come to an end. This particular poem starts off with a positive connotation as young Heaney adores wells, but nearing the end of the poem a negative connotation is seen as he is remembering back on his childhood memories of these wells and realizing it is foolish of him to love wells as he enters adult life. Because he is no longer socially allowed to adore wells…show more content…
Heaney’s representation of wells in “Personal Helicon” is significant to the idea presented in the entire “Death of a Naturalist” poem collection. At his early stages of life Heaney considered himself a Naturalist and “as a child, they could not keep [him] from the wells” (1). Therefore elucidating the impression, the title of this poem, “Personal Helicon” refers to the idea that wells are wrapped around Heaney 's head as a helicon would be. Based on the fact Heaney composed a poem about wells, the reader can assume he spent a great deal of time thinking about wells before, during and after his childhood memories were constructed. Once he was no longer available to publicly adore wells he had the sensation of “the darkness echoing” (20). A morbid tone is presented at the point where Heaney enters his adult life. This experience negatively affects the prior experiences with wells causing him to recall the experiences with a morbid tone and negative

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