Seamus Heaney - Trout - Poetry Analysis


Trout The rivers and streams close to his boyhood home are very much part of Heaney’s landscape. In this poem he takes advantage of his huge interest in Nature pausing on arched bridges to acquaint himself with life-forms in the stream below. The first 5 lines are composed around two contrasting verbs: one of inertia, the other of movement. At one moment the fish’s latent power Hangs (as if suspended in the water) like a fat gun-barrel waiting to be triggered; next it slips effortlessly like butter down the throat of the river. From deep in the water the trout accelerates to the surface in search of food. Heaney loads the text with sniper and naval imagery: muzzle/ bull’s eye/ picks off/ torpedoed (there is no escape from the pace and accuracy of the device). The trout’s non-friction design (slips) is facilitated by the texture of the water’s depths smooth-skinned […read more….]