Themes Of Stress Of Poetry By Seamus Heaney

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The essays in The Redress of Poetry have more cumulative force than individual character. Though seldom striking in themselves, they are convincing in their belief that poetic invention “represents not a submission to the conditions of [the] world but a creative victory over them.” If Heaney does not have the original prose voice of Auden or Eliot, he has maintained for English poetry a responsive, gratified and radical ear. Redress of Poetry exhibits a number of themes, critical concerns and stylistic prose bytes. To achieve this, Heaney also also used many intertexual references. For example, he refers to Herbert. Herbert is an unexpected model, coming from the man who, more than anyone, speaks for civilization and decency in contemporary Ulster, a more polemicized hero seems to be in order. But Heaney has always had a bittersweet relationship to his community. In 1975, he made an early appearance on the international stage with his poem “Punishment.” This was around the time that the IRA began tarring and feathering Catholic women who dated British soldiers. Heaney compared those women’s bodies to that of a neolithic adulteress who had been stoned to death and dumped in a bog. He concludes: My poor scapegoat, I almost love you but would have cast, I know, the stones of silence. I am the artful voyeur of your brain’s exposed This is a far cry from Herbert’s clever machinations on Anglican theology. The choice of Herbert as a model is also a flagrant defiance of the poet

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