The Early Purges is about when a boy of about the age of 6 is frightened at the sight of kittens being drowned on a farm as he is told that they are pests. Then when he is older he just sees it as the norm and something that must be done. Death of a Naturalist is about a very young boy who regularly collects frogspawn from a dam until one hot day when he realises that the frogspawn turns into frogs and he thinks that they want revenge for stealing their young (i.e. the frogspawn). In Blackberry Picking it describes a boy's version of blackberry picking as if they are pirates hoarding treasure.
Then like in Death of a Naturalist, the whole situation changes, in this case all the blackberries rot and the boy is upset by it even though he knows that it happens every year. At a first read of all these poems I noticed that the common theme running through them all is that the first two-thirds of the poem are to do with the innocent memories of a child. These memories were also, it seemed, very detailed and vivid ones. Then a passage of time takes place or we are in the future and the ideas of this child have changed or the child realises something.
The first 5 stanzas in The Early Purges starts with a child's view, which is of sadness and an innocent feeling of horror and fear at the loss of the kittens lives. It is an innocent feeling of sadness as he is suddenly frightened and doesn't understand why the kittens were killed. This is similar to Death of a Naturalist. Even though the childhood memories are pleasant ones unlike The Early Purges, they are still innocent ones for example when he describes what the teacher was saying, the teacher gives a very childish version of reproduction-the daddy frog was called the bullfrog and how he croaked and how the mammy frog laid hundreds of little eggs , showing how innocent he was as it doesn't explain properly how the eggs come about.
[...] To conclude, I would agree that the main focus in Heaney's poems are about childhood is the loss of innocence, whether that be a good thing or a bad thing. This is proved by the obvious beginning of the poem, recollecting crystal clear childhood memories of an unawareness of time showing the innocence of children. The fact that these memories are so vivid shows that Heaney needs to show childhood innocence as important so that the loss of it is too, proving that it is a main focus in these poems. [...]
[...] Would you agree that the main focus in Heaney's poems about childhood is the loss of innocence? The Early Purges is about when a boy of about the age of 6 is frightened at the sight of kittens being drowned on a farm as he is told that they are pests. Then when he is older he just sees it as the norm and something that must be done. Death of a Naturalist is about a very young boy who regularly collects frogspawn from a dam until “one hot day” when he realises that the frogspawn turns into frogs and he thinks that they want revenge for stealing their young (i.e. [...]
[...] The Early Purges starts with Heaney as a young boy and in the last two stanzas he is a man. Although Heaney has got older and lost his innocence ideas there was no specific memory of events that changed his ideas from one stage in his life to the next unlike the other two poems. At the beginning of stanza 2 in Death of a Naturalist it says “Then one hot day”. This phrase indicates that there was a specific time and event in his memory when his ideas changed. [...]
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