Seamus Heaney - The Seed Cutters - Poetry Analysis

The Seed Cutters

The Seed Cutters A second ‘word-canvas’ depicts an age-old routine practised in Heaney’s Ulster farming community. He is perhaps inspired by a memory or a photo, even literally a calendar picture depicting rural practice. Such groups of farm workers would be recognisable back in Breughel’s time: They seem hundreds of years away. Heaney addresses the Flemish artist who painted rural scenes in 16c. Flanders; the artist would approve Heaney’s likeness, providing he, the poet, can find the words to do the scene justice: if I can get them true. This uncomfortable activity is taking place at ground level: the labourers kneel and are exposed to the elements behind an ineffective wind-break. Scene-setting precedes identification: only in line 5 do we learn that They are the seed cutters. Heaney takes up his fine paint-brush to pick out The tuck and frill of the leaf-sprout and the straw under which the tubers […read more….]