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Content will no longer be kept uptodate from Monday 20th January 2020
CCEA Curriculum Monitoring Programme 2018-19
This is our legacy website and will no longer be kept uptodate from Monday 20th January 2020.

Background and theme

Thatcher is an early poem which deals with rural life in Ulster. It depicts vanishing trades and skills such as thatching and field-ditching.

What the poem is about

The poem is taken from a collection of poems titled Door into the Dark. At first glance, the poem is about a man coming to fix a thatched roof. On closer analysis, Heaney is describing the process of unravelling thoughts and experiences within himself. The thatcher is Heaney, and he describes the way he writes his poetry using the straw as a metaphor. He illustrates how he prepares and assembles each thought and idea and puts them first into words, then into a line, to finally make up a poem.