Follower (poem)

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"Follower" is a poem by Seamus Heaney released in his collection of 1966 Death of a Naturalist. The poem is about how he admired and followed his father.

In this poem, Heaney reflects and looks back almost nostalgically at an Irish farming through a description of his father's ploughing expertise. He vividly describes his memories of his father's abilities and explains to his readers his total, uncompromising admiration for his father as the young boy he used to be. The rhyming scheme is as skillful as the action it describes and a further note on structure would be the development from admiration to irritation: "Behind me and won't go away". This is a cycle which can be related to all over the world in many different situations. Heaney had a stroke in 1990 but recovered, he did not write about this event.

The author places himself in his childhood, and gives the reader his own point of view about the personal relation that he had with his father, a part from describing the different actions that this man did on the farm. This is autobiographical, as we can read in the following lines: “His father owned and worked a small farm of some fifty acres in County Derry in Northern Ireland” (Nobel Web, The Swedish Academy).

There is also a description of the physical conditions of the father in the very beginning of the poem, and the reader is also informed about this man’s works as a farmer. The man is described as a very hard-working person and a good worker doing his job. The poem does not give us details about the environment, so it focuses on the different actions carried out by the man.

This poem was included in the GCSE AQA Anthology.

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