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This is our legacy website and will no longer be kept uptodate from Monday 20th January 2020.

Suggested tasks for students

Questions on the poem

  1. Comment on the setting which Heaney recreates in the opening section.
  2. How does Heaney convey a sense of the man’s pensive mind?
  3. Explain how Heaney describes the weeds in section 1.
  4. Identify and comment on the alliteration used in section 1.
  5. Explain how the comparisons in section 2 convey the man’s detachment.
  6. What details of a past time flood the man’s mind in section 3?
  7. Heaney ends in a whimsical and light-hearted manner. How does he achieve this?
  8. Explain how Heaney creates the natural rhythms of speech.

Areas for discussion

Nostalgia

Simple qualities or rural life in the past