Bogland Straight to the point easy to understand. For T.P Flanagan We have no prairies There’s no grassland To slice a big sun at evening-around. Giving a Setting the scene horrible look generic of the Irish Everywhere the eye concedes to Encroaching horizon, perception, however… Bogland. Invading horizon, stopping the bogland, Is wooed into the cyclops eye from continuing. The sun covers the Of a tarn. Our unfenced country Free country, landscape, watching it. Is bog that keeps crusting untouched by Between the sights of the sun. man. Theyve taken the skeletonThe first indication Of the Great Irish Elk A ancient Irishof human influence deer. Out of the peat, set it upin the natural An astounding crate full of air.landscape. Butter sunk under The Speaker More than a hundred years Describing appreciates Was recovered salty and white. what “they’ve” the The ground itself is kind, black butter found. landscape.
They will never findLong sounding vowels, coal only “highlighting the Melting and opening underfoot, waterloggedsounds of the bogs. A Missing its last definition trunks”.long squelch. By millions of years. Theyll never dig coal here, The decomposed Only the waterlogged trunks trees of the Bogland.Discoverers, who aredigging to find, what? Of great firs, soft as pulp. Final stanza, 3Coal? Or just curious Our pioneers keep striking full stops in 4of not knowing what lines, contrasting Inwards and downwards,they will find? how the bog is endless. Every layer they strip Seems camped on before. It will never come to The bogholes might be Atlantic seepage. an end, there will The wet centre is bottomless. always be digging to be done.
• Free verse- no rhymes, showing how the bog is unpredictable, you don’t know what your going to uncover.• There’s limited punctuation, allowing the poem to flow and run easily.• Tone: simplistic, admirable.• Themes: Irish landscape and history.
Who is T.P Flanagan?T.P Flanagan was a famous Irish painter, who specialised in painting Irish landscapes. Sadly Flanagan died in 2011, at the age of 80 years. Though ‘Bogland’ was written in 1969.Irish poet Seamus Heaney, said he was “a teacher and afriend” whose work held a “deep personal significance”. Also that “Terry has also been very much a personal friend as well as an artistic presence.”T.P Flanagan taught at St Mary’s college where Heaneys wife, Marie attended a few years before.
Form, Language, Structure• There’s seven four line stanzas, with similar length lines.• The language creates interesting images in the readers mind- “To slice a big sun at evening”.• The poem narrates how the “pioneers keep striking inwards and downwards” into the bogs, and what they find.• The speaker doesn’t seem to resent the pioneers, but instead seems interested.• Language is easy to understand, with references to Ireland and its heritage.• Heaney has produced nice imagery.
The Background of ‘Bogland’.• Heaney grew up in rural northern Ireland. On his farm, Mossbawn, there was plenty of Bogland, which his family gathered peat from, as a form of fuel.• Ireland has more bog than any other country in Europe, besides Finland, so now has a great scientific significance.• It has been said that Heaney is interested in bogs, not only because he originates from a Irish farming background but also because he has seen pictures of objects found in bogs.• Heaney had talked of the bog being a symbol of a consciousness that retains and observes.
There is continual references to Ireland, and historicalknowledge of the bogs throughout the poem. For example:-”Great Irish Elk” was one of the largest deer that ever lived, itoriginated from Ireland and has been carbon dated to of lived7,700 years ago. Skeletons of the Great Irish Elk have probablybeen found within Bogland.-Also Heaney refers to “Butter sunk under More than a hundredyears”. I believe Heaney means Bog butter. Bog butter is a waxysubstance which is found in peat bogs such as Irelands. Theyhave been found, dating back to the 2nd or 3rd century, it isthought to of been an ancient way of preserving food in woodenbarrels and burying them in peat bogs.This highlights Heaneys interest in what you can find within theIrish bogland.