Seamus Heaney - Cow in Calf - Poetry Analysis

Cow in Calf

Cow in Calf In an environment familiar to a farmer’s son, Heaney reflects on regeneration. The speaker weighs up the cow’s immense belly. The impression It seems is that, in pregnancy, she had swallowed a barrel her undercarriage: slung like a hammock from front to rear. He needs to be physical to shift a cow in her present condition from the position where she is eating. The sound of smacks administered is somehow different with a calf inside: solid, dull sounds like slapping a great bag of seed; smacks so weighty that his own hand takes the punishment, tingling as if strapped, accompanied by dull, distant echoes that plump like a depth charge/ far in her gut. We learn of other signs of pregnancy: the growing udder resembles a wind instrument with its bagpipe’s windbag and drone, producing an accompaniment to her lowing. Heaney reflects upon the perpetual loop of […read more….]