Seamus Heaney - The Barn - Poetry Analysis

The Barn

The Barn A second ‘bad-dream’ poem plays on the stuff of nightmare: half-light/ darkness; day/ night, benign/ threatening. Harmless objects in relative light assume very different natures once a child’s imagination is given full rein. A youngster describes a place he knew in childhood; his memory recalls farm objects stored in a barn. His eye rests initially at floor level where he sees Threshed corn lying scattered like grit of ivory or packed solid as cement in two-lugged sacks (the stitching-up of the sacks left two ear-liked corners, often stretched because the corners were gripped as they were lugged about); he smells musty dark. Farm items are methodically displayed as in an armoury. The boy’s memory-eye moves upwards from floor to ceiling, from the mouse-grey (a subtle introduction to later trauma),smooth, chilly concrete to the meagre light (two narrow shafts of gilded motes) introduced by air-holes slit/ High in each […read more….]