Seamus Heaney - Churning Day - Poetry Analysis

Churning Day

Churning Day Heaney describes the production of farm-made butter witnessed as a youngster. The poem reveals close observation of the technical stages whereby a transformation occurs as if by magic. The process is akin to alchemy: as if the Heaney family is able to produce gold from base metal in the form of butter from milk! Left to rise, the cream of the milk gradually forms A thick crust with the texture and colour of building materials: coarse-grained as limestone rough-cast. The cream-containers are four crocks/ … large pottery bombs, both in their shape and, perhaps, their promise of explosive transformation (re-echoed in the later reference to the yellow-pigmented sulphur mine). The milk has undergone a notable temperature-change from the cow’s hot brewery of gland, cud and udder and now at rest in cool porous earthenware. Heaney explains how traditionally the wooden hooped churn is purified: first abrasively sterilised and […read more….]