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Death Of A Naturalist Analysis



Author: Poetry of Seamus Heaney Type: Poetry Views: 3028

All year the flax-dam festered in the heart

Of the townland; green and heavy headed

Flax had rotted there, weighted down by huge sods.

Daily it sweltered in the punishing sun.

Bubbles gargled delicately, bluebottles

Wove a strong gauze of sound around the smell.

There were dragon-flies, spotted butterflies,

But best of all was the warm thick slobber

Of frogspawn that grew like clotted water

In the shade of the banks. Here, every spring

I would fill jampotfuls of the jellied

Specks to range on window-sills at home,

On shelves at school, and wait and watch until

The fattening dots burst into nimble-

Swimming tadpoles. Miss Walls would tell us how

The daddy frog was called a bullfrog

And how he croaked and how the mammy frog

Laid hundreds of little eggs and this was

Frogspawn. You could tell the weather by frogs too

For they were yellow in the sun and brown

In rain.Then one hot day when fields were rank

With cowdung in the grass the angry frogs

Invaded the flax-dam; I ducked through hedges

To a coarse croaking that I had not heard

Before. The air was thick with a bass chorus.

Right down the dam gross-bellied frogs were cocked

On sods; their loose necks pulsed like sails. Some hopped:

The slap and plop were obscene threats. Some sat

Poised like mud grenades, their blunt heads farting.

I sickened, turned, and ran. The great slime kings

Were gathered there for vengeance and I knew

That if I dipped my hand the spawn would clutch it.





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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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i fink frog r so kewl so i like dis poem #savethefrogs
this poem inspired mi tatoo of a butterfli .

| Posted on 2013-05-14 | by a guest


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For my GCSE work ive got to compare this poem with another poem called Blackberry Picking. Seamus is very clever to have written this metaphorical poem. I found peoples perspectives very useful; made me think deeper into the poem and its meaning. Although i still dont completely understand this poem. Thank you anyway.

| Posted on 2012-03-23 | by a guest


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I think this poem is about how Heaney loves to collect frogspawn but then one day when he goes to get it he realises that he is taking away these frogs children and therefore he has to stop.

| Posted on 2012-02-13 | by a guest


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This poem, although could seem to be about the troubles in Ireland, was written before then and so cannot be. Instead I think it is about the corruption of innocence with a rite of passage into adolescence (\'rotting\' in himself). The image patterns of \'slap\' \'plop\' and \'necks pulsed\' are almost sexual imagery and so it is not only about frogs (tadpole become adult) but about himself. Thus part of him dies in this moment, hence the title - playful but unsettling. This change in sensibility towards nature is a more honest and ruthless portrayal of nature.

| Posted on 2012-01-07 | by a guest


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Death of a naturalist is about the effects of human beings tampering with the environment. The loss that the child experiences is a metaphor for the loss that humanity will suffer from when the environment seeks revenge for all that has happened to it.

| Posted on 2011-11-29 | by a guest


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Rates of Reaction
When we think of everyday reactions, we can classify them as being slow or fast. In Chemistry, we can describe how fast a reaction occurs by finding the Rate of Reaction. This can be calculated by dividing the change in amount of either the reactant (the substance being reacted) or the product (the new substance being produced) by the time taken for the reaction to occur.
For a chemical reaction to take place, the particles of the reactants must have sufficient Activation Energy. This is the energy needed to cause the particles in the reactants to collide successfully. If a reaction needs a high Activation Energy, it is most likely going to have a lower rate, as it will be harder for the particles to collide successfully. In contrast, a reaction with a high Activation energy should have a much higher rate, as little energy will be required to cause the reaction.
When a reaction occurs, the particles of the reactants must collide. The collisions are what cause the particles to break bonds and react with the other reactants to form the products. The collisions must be successful; otherwise the reaction will not take place and the reactants will remain the same.
There are a number of different ways to measure the rate of a reaction. Usually, one would measure the amount of one of the products forming over a period of time – checking to see how much has been collected over a set interval of time. Generally it is easy to collect a gas if it is one of the products, as it will bubble off the other products. This can then be moved to a syringe or test tube where the amount produced is recorded. However, any of the products in a reaction can be measured, and it is also possible to measure how much of a product disappears over a given time.
Once this data has been obtained, the rate of the reaction must be found. This is achieved by plotting a graph of the amount of reactant or product that has disappeared or been produced against the time taken for this to happen. This will form a graph – the steeper the gradient here, the higher the rate of the reaction. You can find the average rate of the reaction by dividing the amount of the substance measured by the time taken for it to disappear/be produced.
There are many factors which affect the rate of a reaction. By altering these factors, it is possible to successfully complete a reaction in a faster or slower time than it would occur in normal circumstances. This can be very useful when trying to repeat the same reaction many times; increasing the rate will allow for the reactions to be carried out much more efficiently.
One of the factors which affect the rate of reaction is the temperature of the reactants. Temperature has a very strong effect on the rate of a reaction; when the temperature rises by just 10° Celsius, the rate of the reaction is doubled. Because the individual particles in the products are given more energy through heat, they are more likely to have sufficient Activation Energy and collide successfully, speeding up the reaction. This explains, for example, why chips cook faster than boiled potatoes – the fat which the chips are cooked in is much hotter than boiling water. In general, cooking food involves many chemical reactions, which take place much more quickly due to the high temperature.
The surface area of the reactants is also an important factor in determining the rate of a reaction. In the diagram shown to the side, we have the reaction between hydrochloric acid and magnesium. When the magnesium is powdered (as shown in diagram 2) there are a lot more particles that the H+ ions can collide with, thus increasing the number of successful collisions and also the rate of the reaction. This is also useful in chemical industry, when solids in a reaction need to have the maximum surface area – for example in catalytic converters.
Another factor involved in determining the rate of a reaction is concentration. A concentrated solution is one that has a large amount of solute dissolved in a given volume. Because of the high level of solute, reactants involving solutions with a high concentration of the reactants have more particles available to collide. This means that there are more successful collisions and the rate of reaction is higher than one involving a solution of low concentration. Gases can also have concentration, and it can be changed by altering the pressure. A gas at high pressure is said to have a higher concentration, as the same amount of gas is in a smaller volume. Gases will react faster at a higher pressure.
A catalyst is a substance that can change the rate of a reaction without being used in the reaction, that is, they will not change as a result of the reaction. A catalyst can always be removed after the reaction is completed without making any difference to the reactants or products.
Catalysts can work in a lot of different ways. For example, solid catalysts may work by absorption. The particles of the reactants are absorbed on to the face of the catalyst, bringing the particles together. This allows the bonds in the molecules to be broken more easily, so that the reaction can take place in less time. A catalyst like this would also need a large surface area to work more effectively.

| Posted on 2011-06-20 | by a guest


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the message in blackberry picking is that we all grow up so when we are younger try and make it last. the blackberries also grew older \"... but wen the bath was filled we found fur\", this left the boy dissapointed After thid happened he could of felt as if he could of spent his time doing something else, this might of been when the blackberry picking stopped.

| Posted on 2011-06-06 | by a guest


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This poem is about a boy reaching sexual maturity, and how he sees it as a violent, gross act. \'slap and plop\' typical noises heard during intercourse, and \'warm thick slobber\' is the semen and other bodily fluids exchanged during the consummation of love. \'mud grenades\' reinforces the boys thought of violence about the frogs, and the language used when Heaney describes Mrs Walls lesson is simple, factual-style, showing the innocence, and youth of the boy. his delight in all slimy gross things in nature that all little boys love is ruined, which is why he turns and runs away from it at the end of the poem, \'Gathered there for vengeance\' he thinks that because of the \'violent\' nature he observes in the mating of the frogs, that they are seeking vengeance for him stealing the frogspawn, again demonstrating his naivety. He feels that if he finds out any more of what \'it’s all about\' then he will be consumed: \'and i knew that if i dipped my hand the spawn would clutch it\'
Ultimately, what the child once saw as beautiful and great has now turned violent, dirty and horrific.

| Posted on 2011-05-19 | by a guest


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I feel the poem Death of a Naturalist is split into two sections. Firstly about a young innocent Heaney who is excited about learning new facts about frogs and explores the textures of its spawn. In contrast in the second section Heaney is a little older now and portrays a much more dull and almost paranoid view of the environment. This is because he uses words such as \"cowdung\" and \"gross\" which show a disgusting but more aware view of nature. As oppose to playful words like \"jampotfuls\".

| Posted on 2011-04-05 | by a guest


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In Reference to this post:
\"This poem is clearly about a boy\'s sexual feelings towards a frog. The poem expresses how he masturbates every time he sees them.\"
WTF? OBVIOUSLY YOU HAVEN\'T READ THE POEM!! IT IS ABOUT A YOUNG BOY.... YOU NEED SOME HELP. SERIOUSLY.

| Posted on 2011-03-03 | by a guest


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This peom is weird why about frogs crocodiles are better!

| Posted on 2011-02-25 | by a guest


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I think the tone is more humorous than serious, and although a \"rite of passage\" may be inferred, it\'s a fairly light-hearted one. Heaney intentionally overstates the experience in the title.
It\'s hard to take a poem too seriously that features \"blunt heads farting\" as a central image. Perhaps the boy has an extremely active imagination, which is a charming reality in many young children. We are too enjoy the speaker, not look for profound changes in him in this case.

| Posted on 2011-01-22 | by a guest


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I personally think that jamie ralph is a funni guy !! xD

| Posted on 2011-01-20 | by a guest


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Heaney conveys the texture of frogspwan when he describes it as clotted water...

| Posted on 2011-01-08 | by a guest


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Analysis: This is a piece of prose. There is no non-trivial criterion (chopped lines do not a poem make) that shows the this piece is a piece of poetry.

| Posted on 2010-12-06 | by a guest


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Death of a Naturalist by Seamus Heaney is essentially an elegy concerning the loss of childhood imperatives. Heaney betokens his disillusion to the oblivion of simple childhood joys by dividing Death of a Naturalist into two figurative timeframes: prior to the loss and after. Through his strangely attractive descriptions, Heaney encapsulates the delights of children in amateur herpetology, with such lines as bluebottles / Wove a strong gauze of sound around the smell. The departure from this simple childhood fascination is explicit in the lines Then one hot day when fields were rank / With cowdung in the grass the angry frogs / Invaded the flax-dam. Frogs are no longer of interest: there are more serious matters at hand to the mind of the adult. Through Death of a Naturalist Heaney bemoans his patently seething belief with a passionate call to remember what has been lost by the coming of age.

| Posted on 2010-06-19 | by a guest


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in my opinion seamus heaney created a successful poem that expresses all that is lost as we grow from childhood, our curiosity and facsination for nature. however, it may seems that heaney blames our loss of childhood innocnece on the actions on people around us, in this case metaphorically he blames the nature and the great 'slime kings' and 'angry frogs' that 'invaded the flax dam'. the whole war like imagery seems to reflect heaneys desire to fight for his field...or if u look at this more deeply, fight to keep his childhood which seems to be disappearing with every 'coarse croak'. his new profound voice which indicates coming of age and the beginning of the end of heaney's childhood chapter. M.H aged 16

| Posted on 2010-06-07 | by a guest


.: :.

in my opinion seamus heaney created a successful poem that expresses all that is lost as we grow from childhood, our curiosity and facsination for nature. however, it may seems that heaney blames our loss of childhood innocnece on the actions on people around us, in this case metaphorically he blames the nature and the great 'slime kings' and 'angry frogs' that 'invaded the flax dam'. the whole war like imagery seems to reflect heaneys desire to fight for his field...or if u look at this more deeply, fight to keep his childhood which seems to be disappearing with every 'coarse croak'. his new profound voice which indicates coming of age and the beginning of the end of heaney's childhood chapter.

| Posted on 2010-06-07 | by a guest


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Basically,I just thought it was loss of innoncence and the struggles adolescence brings, and however hard Heaney would like to avoid it (he uses words that connote negativity in the second stanza), it is inevitable that he will grow as the "slime king" has grown in number, reader to lurch on their victim.

| Posted on 2010-05-22 | by a guest


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i am doing my gcse on gillian clarke and seamus where can i get the annotations from?

| Posted on 2010-05-18 | by a guest


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I think this poem can be interpreted in two ways. On one hand we have a boy returning to the 'scene of a crime' and nature (i.e. the frogs) taking its revenge for him having stolen the frogspawn. This viewpoint highlights the theme of man vs nature.
On the other, it can be seen as a child losing his innocence and his love of nature changing from a childish curiousity to a clinical scientific analysis. The change in language and tone from the start of the poem to the end (the turning point marked the mention of the ironically named 'Miss. Walls') marks the childs own transition into the beginnings of maturity.

| Posted on 2010-04-21 | by a guest


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this poem is the best poem and tells people alot how we all lose intrest in those things that we loved as children and the fact that heaney can portray that in the most beautiful way means that he had gone through just that thing that we have all have gone through

| Posted on 2010-04-19 | by a guest


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this poem can be ready in different ways.
superficially is is about a young boy whos innocence is taken away by Miss Walls who opens the childs eyes to the world, through science.
Postcolonially it can be read as though miss walls represent the invasion of ireland by the English, essentially taking away Ireland's innocence
this poem is about a journey from being mystified to being horrified
after our eyes have been open, we cannot block it out, no matter how much we want to. we want to go back to not knowing, just like the persona

| Posted on 2010-04-19 | by a guest


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Hey, um... I think this is a poem about a childhood experiance, when the sense of the innocent childhood enthusiasm and perfection is replaced by something more sinister.

| Posted on 2010-03-18 | by a guest


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This poem is clearly about a boy's sexual feelings towards a frog. The poem expresses how he masturbates every time he sees them.

| Posted on 2010-03-06 | by a guest


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I think it is about a young boy who loves to go collecting frogspawn, but then one day he grows up and notices somethin thats always been therem but the reason he never noticed it before is because he was too young a naive to give it thought, and he only saw and heard and felt what he wanted to.

| Posted on 2010-02-13 | by a guest


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I think it is about a young boy who loves to go collecting frogspawn, but then one day he grows up and notices somethin thats always been therem but the reason he never noticed it before is because he was too young a naive to give it thought, and he only saw and heard and felt what he wanted to.

| Posted on 2010-02-13 | by a guest


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i think this poen is about a frog that has een kiled and really like it it's really understanding .

| Posted on 2010-02-10 | by a guest


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i think this poen is about a frog that has een kiled and really like it it's really understanding .

| Posted on 2010-02-10 | by a guest


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slap and plop sounds like when my poop hits the toilet water

| Posted on 2010-01-04 | by a guest


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slap and plop sounds like when my poop hits the toilet water

| Posted on 2010-01-04 | by a guest


.: :.

slap and plop sounds like when my poop hits the toilet water

| Posted on 2010-01-04 | by a guest


.: :.

slap and plop sounds like when my poop hits the toilet water

| Posted on 2010-01-04 | by a guest


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slap and plop sounds like when my poop hits the toilet water

| Posted on 2010-01-04 | by a guest


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slap and plop sounds like when my poop hits the toilet water

| Posted on 2010-01-04 | by a guest


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I really love this poem- it's just so dense and can be interpreted it so many different ways. Though it couldn't be about the Northern Irish troubles could it?- Death of a Naturalist was written before then. I'm from Northern Ireland, and I just feel so privillaged to have grown up in the same place as Heaney.

| Posted on 2010-01-02 | by a guest


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I think "Death of a Naturalist" is reflecting the Troubles of Northern Ireland at the time much more than is obvious. The tadpoles could metaphorically suggest the oppressed Irish under the troubling reign of the English, possibly unaware of what they are causing, like the boys taking tadpoles from the swamp. The rotting flax is another metaphor for the strength that the English have over Ireland, but, as in an earlier post, the bluebottles "weaving a strong gauze of sound to mask the smell" protect the innocence of the persona.

| Posted on 2009-11-22 | by a guest


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Personally i believe that this and blackberry picking both develop the idea of gaining and adult perspective. The first stanzas set the scene, but the extended metaphors in each weave an undertone of uneasiness, which is brought forward in the second stanza.I could be wrong - don't shoot me down, I don't think that everyone here can claim to have the one and only right answer. I can however definitely say that it does not refer to the (recent) irish troubles - the anthology, also titled death of a naturalist was released in the early 60s, so before all of that.
JC

| Posted on 2009-10-21 | by a guest


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i think this poem is a very good example of our childhood who doesnt like to be dirty in young times...? I wish to be small now and dont have this problems, It is a great poem 'Deatch of naturalist' im writing a essay now and i really enjoyed this, Im Polish btw xDD :D
If u have Anything whih i should know or remember, good to know, :)

| Posted on 2009-10-13 | by a guest


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a poem is a gift from its creator,do with it what you will

| Posted on 2009-09-15 | by a guest




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