Seamus Heaney - The Sharping Stone - Poetry Analysis

The Sharping Stone

The Sharping Stone A quintet of elegiac poems triggered by the discovery of a gift lying forgotten and unopened in a piece of home furniture. Heaney sets the context: (where the stone was discovered) In an apothecary’s chest of drawers; (its construction) Sweet cedar; its status (purchased second hand); its specific location in a drawer (one of its weighty deep-sliding recesses); the object itself (the sharping stone); its original intended destination): Our gift to him (further clues suggest his father); its mint condition (Still in its wrapping paper). The discovery generates a sense failure Like a baton of black light I’d failed to pass (a relay runner dropping the baton). apothecary: person who in olden times prepared and sold medicines and drugs; chest of drawers: solid piece of furniture; sweet cedar: a cedar used for its resinous odour; deep-sliding recesses: reference to drawers; large furniture has large proportions (deep); drawers […read more….]