Seamus Heaney - Turkeys Observed - Poetry Analysis

Turkeys Observed

Turkeys Observed Heaney provides an object lesson in transposing close observation into verse. Shop-window displays of regulation Christmas fare set up a chain of associations in the poet’s mind leading from the ‘v’ of the Diviner’s hazel stick in the previous poem to the ‘v’ of a turkey’s wishbone! Heaney laments the sorry sight of turkeys slaughtered in cold blood for Man’s Christmastide self-indulgence. He describes them blue-breasted, royal in death, lying on show in the butcher’s indifferent mortuary; akin to huge sea creatures or ditched planes, they lie in shop after shop beached bare on the cold marble slabs reduced as turkeys to wearing only immodest underwear frills of feather. Hung beef has grandeur, retaining Some of the smelly majesty of living; to Heaney the presence of a side of beef ensures that the blood and flesh are not ignored. No such dignity amongst poultry: the turkey cowers in […read more….]