Sunday, February 27, 2011

Personal Helicon

As a child, they could not keep me from wells
And old pumps with buckets and windlasses.
I loved the dark drop, the trapped sky, the smells
Of waterweed, fungus and dank moss.

One, in a brickyard, with a rotted board top.
I savoured the rich crash when a bucket
Plummeted down at the end of a rope.
So deep you saw no reflection in it.

A shallow one under a dry stone ditch
Fructified like any aquarium.
When you dragged out long roots from the soft mulch
A white face hovered over the bottom.

Others had echoes, gave back your own call
With a clean new music in it. And one
Was scaresome, for there, out of ferns and tall
Foxgloves, a rat slapped across my reflection.

Now, to pry into roots, to finger slime,
To stare, big-eyed Narcissus, into some spring
Is beneath all adult dignity. I rhyme
To see myself, to set the darkness echoing.

In this poem “Personal Helicon” by Seamus Heaney, Heaney really focuses on strong imagery and point of view to explore the happiness of his childhood days. I remember and so do many other people there childhood memories like family barbeques, adventures through a park, daycare centers, and many other things comprise many people with their childhood. The imagery in his poem effectively helps describe the actions of the narrator’s childhood self. He uses descriptive words such as “dank,” and “soft.” Nearly every line in every stanza of the poem contains some sort of descriptive word. This gives a mental image of the scenes to the reader and also gives memories of his or her own childhood. Some of Heaney’s phrases also stand out with strong imagery. When he writes about the “rich crash” that occurs when the child drops a bucket into the well or the child dragging roots from the dirt, his audience is truly experiencing the small events in the poem. This is why the poem is so effective to catch the eyes of all of its  readers. Every person has good childhood memories that can connect the reader to the poem and to the author of the poem its self- Heaney.

This poem also has a deeper meaning. From the outside you can see it as having just a childhood experience with wells. But, from the development and change in tone and attitude the reader can conclude that the poem means a lot more. The poem displays a transformation of his perspective as the poem progresses to the end. This transformation might refer to Heaney attitudes of life itself during childhood and adulthood.
Like most poems; Personal Helicon has a deeper meaning.

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