The theme of this poem is about a ‘Trout.’ We can picture the texture, movement shape and size of the fish with the variety of similes and metaphors he uses. The tone of the poem is awe and admiration and delight in the skill of the fish. Yet, we also get a notion of fear of the power of the trout. The writer has made us get an unusual image of the trout by comparing the somewhat harmless trout to weapon, thus making the trout seem powerful and deadly.
We also get this vivid and unusual image of the trout from his detailed description. Seamus Heaney shows the shape of the trout from the phrases such as, “Hangs a fat gun barrel.” This shows the fish is rounded and big. Other key descriptions are described from the phrase “slips like butter” indicating the trout has a smooth and slippery texture; the phrases “fired from the shallows” and “darts like a tracer bullet” suggesting the movement and speed of the fish is fast and swift.
As I have said the writer compares the fish to a gun to make the poem unusual and portrays this using a range of similes and metaphors. Similes for example, “darts like a tracer bullet,” showing the speed and danger of the fish. Metaphors such as “Hangs, a at gun barrel” This is introduced at the start of the poem so straight away we get the impression of a gun. Another metaphor is “his muzzle gets bull’s eye”. We often state muzzle as in the end of a gun and associate bull’s eye with a bow and arrow two lethal weapons. Also it indicates the fish is very precise and accurate making it seem more fatal and powerful. Seamus Heaney also uses single word metaphors, which are jus as effective, such as “torpedoed”. This suggests the writer has again tried to associate power and speed with the fish however this time he has used a missile. Other phrases which again show the comparison are “he is fired from the shallows” shows how fast the fish is and “white belly reporting/flat” depicts the dominance of the trout. The writer has used the word reporting cleverly since it is the sound of gun fire. The metaphor “never really burnt out” describes the trout has a powerful intimidating flame and as a missile that never stops. Another metaphor “volley of cold blood”, volley being a sequence of bullets being fired, describes the trout as not just one but many bullets, enhancing the trout’s power. He finishes the poem off with a metaphor “Ramrodding the current.” A ramrod is a long stick used to put ammunition or to clean a gun implying the trout is pushing its way through the current as the stick pushes its way up the gun barrel. Seamus Heaney has emphasised the whole way through the poem by using this comparison with a deadly weapon that the trout is powerful and we should be afraid of it yet admire its skill and abilities.
Louis MacNeice’s and Thom Gun’s poems use the first voice to look at birth through babies’ eyes. They help us see that babies, unborn or newborn, are living but powerless beings. They can think and feel but cannot make decisions or changes in their lives. MacNeice’s piece is burdened with desperate pleas from the womb for a chance to live while Gunn’s poem takes on a ...
Seamus Heaney has used rhyme and rhythm and alliteration to reinforce the image we have of the trout. He has used internal rhyme in the third stanza from the phrase “where water unravels/ over gravel beds.” The unravels and gravels rhyme have vs in them creating a rippling sound like water adding to the rhythm. The writer has also used alliteration in places such as “tracer-bullet back between stones”, “Where water” and “smooth-skinned.” This technique emphasises these specific words somewhat related to trout.
The structure of the poem reinforces the image as well. The writer has used stanzas, each with four lines with regular line length (six syllables) and ending on a one line stanza emphasising the metaphor at the end and the specific point. Also the writer has used enjambment specifically trans-stanza enjambment. This structural technique quickens the rhythm and the pace you read it emphasising on the trout’s speed. There are some pauses in the poem suggesting the trout travels in short bursts of energy. Enjambment helps the poem flow swiftly s the river flows swiftly and as the fish moves swiftly.
All Her Pretty Ones, and then some... An interpretation of the poetry of Anne Sexton Anne Gray Harvey was born in Newton, Massachusetts, in 1928. After attending one year of college, she eloped and married Alfred "Kayo" Sexton at the age of nineteen. They had their first daughter in 1953, and shortly after, in 1954, Anne Sexton was diagnosed with postpartum depression. Sexton was soon admitted to ...
I like this poem a lot because Seamus Heaney has taken a mere trout and converted it into a predatory and intimidating creature. He has used a wide variety of poetic techniques from metaphors, similes, alliteration to rhyme. He has sculpted and integrated this poem beautifully as well as making me and probably other people visualise nature as a powerful force in which animals are not inferior.