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24 April 2014
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Poetry - Study Ireland

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KS 3 / 4 BBC TV

Nature & Landscape

Seamus Heaney says:

'...quite often the kind of poem I write is just an attempt to get back.'

'...these perch, although they are actually in the river, they are very much in a kind of fifty-five year old memory lake of my own.'

'...I think that water is immediately interesting. It's just as an element it is full of life. It is associated with origin, it is bright, it reflects you.'

The Perch

Perch on their water perch hung in the clear Bann River
Near the clay bank in alder dapple and waver,

Perch they called 'grunts', little flood-slubs, runty and ready,
I saw and I see in the river's glorified body

That is passable through, but they're bluntly holding the
    pass,
Under the water-roof, over the bottom, adoze

On the current, against it, all muscle and slur
In the finland of perch, the fenland of alder, on air

That is water, on carpets of Bann stream, on hold
In the everything flows and steady go of the world.

Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney was born in 1939. He was brought up on a farm near Bellaghy, County Derry. His first book, Death of a Naturalist, was published in 1966 and since then he has published poetry, criticism and translations which have established him as one of the leading poets of his generation. In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Opened Ground: Poems 1966-96 was published in 1998.

Other featured poems by Seamus Heaney are:

- Blackberry Picking
- The Grauballe Man

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