Seamus Heaney - Dawnshoot - Poetry Analysis

Dawnshoot

Dawnshoot In the guise of a paramilitary exercise, a burlesque drama is played out.  Two inept ‘heroes’ are motivated to hunt rabbits by official bounty payments that can be claimed for evidence of listed vermin killed. The sortie is long in build-up and over in a flash; its failure is written off as hardly worth the effort anyway! The speaker is with a companion, Donnelly, at dawn on a damp chilly day when Clouds ran their wet mortar, plastered the daybreak/ Grey. The bounty-hunters are on their way to the ‘killing-fields’, along the railway-track, across stones that clicked tartly underfoot, breaching the need for silence essential for surprise. No trains yet: the only steam was funnelling from cows that return the watcher’s stare Ditched on their rumps …/ Cudding (chewing their cud), watching and knowing. The narrator sees marksman’s skills in the train tracks: The rails scored a bulls-eye into […read more….]