Compare how the poets of “The Eagle” and “Patrolling Barnegat” show awe and respect for Nature with how awe and respect for Nature is shown in 1 Seamus Heaney poem and 1 Gillian Clarke poem Free essay! Download now
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Compare how the poets of “The Eagle” and “Patrolling Barnegat” show awe and respect for Nature with how awe and respect for Nature is shown in 1 Seamus Heaney poem and 1 Gillian Clarke poem
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| Words: 1200 | Submitted: 23-Mar-2009
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DescriptionEssay response to AQA Anthology English Literature type Question (Seamus Heaney and Gillian Clarke)
The poems I have chosen to compare with “The Eagle” and “Patrolling Barnegat” are “Catrin” by Gillian Clarke and “At a Potato Digging” by Seamus Heaney. I have chosen “Catrin” because in this poem Clarke shows awe for Nature’s power over her when she becomes a mother and I have chosen “At a Potato Digging” because Heaney shows us respect for Mother Nature who can be a cruel and unpredictable force, particularly at the time of the potato famine of 1845.
Firstly, in “The Eagle” Tennyson shows great respect for this creature of Nature by comparing it to a human ruler who rules over all that his eye can see. He is situated on the top of the world in a frame of “azure” as if he is untouchable. Tennyson personifies the eagle by calling him “he” and he gives him human attributes like “hands” (instead of claws or talons) and tells us he “stands” (instead of perches). His power is so great that even the mighty sea “beneath him crawls”.
Whitman also uses personification in “Patrolling Barnegat” to show his respect for Nature. This time it is not a living creature from Nature but the huge storm that lashes on Barnegat Bay. Whitman talks of “shouts of demoniac laughter” and words like “roar” and “muttering” to make the waves and the wind sound like a living and evil force that wants to cause destruction, especially to the sail ships coming in to Barnegat Bay. This is a contrast to “The Eagle” as the eagle commands our respect because he is silent and still and we don’t know what he is thinking until he swoops on his prey at the end of the poem, but here the storm is moving wildly and is very noisy. Its movements are described in such words as “careering” and “slanting” (which suggest chaotic and unpredictable movements) while its loud sounds are put across in such words as “piercing and pealing”. Its relentless and chaotic motion (movement) forward is also put across in the way that there are no full stops in this poem (until the end) and the whole poem reads like an out-of-control sentence with lines of different lengths. Whitman also has humans in his poem (the men on the beach who are watching the storm) and their fear (communicated to us by the questions and exclamation in line 9) also puts across how we should feel respect for and awe of this natural phenomenon.
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