Seamus Heaney - The Barn - Poetry Analysis

The Barn

The Barn A second bad-dream poem plays on the stuff of nightmare: half-light and darkness; day and night, benign and threatening. Harmless objects picked out in the first section assume very different natures once a child’s imagination is given free rein. A youngster describes a place very familiar to him: his memory recalls farm objects stored in a barn. His eye observes initially at floor level. Here he sees threshed corn with the consistency, colour (and indeed value to the farmer) of grit of ivory lying scattered on the ground or packed solid as cement in two-lugged sacks (the stitching-up of the sacks provided two ear-like corners, to be gripped by those lugging them about); here he smells musty dark and interprets the shapes of farm tools as weapons in an armoury. The eye moves upwards from the mouse-grey (a subtle introduction to later rodent trauma) smooth, chilly concrete to […read more….]