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What Techniques Does Seamus Heaney Use To Create A Vivid And Unusual Image Of A Fish In His Poem, ‘Trout’?

781 words - 4 pages

The theme of this poem is about a ‘Trout.’ We can picture the texture, movement shape and size of the fish with the variety of similes and metaphors he uses. The tone of the poem is awe and admiration and delight in the skill of the fish. Yet, we also get a notion of fear of the power of the trout. The writer has made us get an unusual image of the trout by comparing the somewhat harmless trout to weapon, thus making the trout seem powerful and deadly.
We also get this vivid and unusual image of the trout from his detailed description. Seamus Heaney shows the shape of the trout from the phrases such as, “Hangs a fat gun barrel.” This shows the fish is rounded and big. Other key ...view middle of the document...

The writer has used the word reporting cleverly since it is the sound of gun fire. The metaphor “never really burnt out” describes the trout has a powerful intimidating flame and as a missile that never stops. Another metaphor “volley of cold blood”, volley being a sequence of bullets being fired, describes the trout as not just one but many bullets, enhancing the trout’s power. He finishes the poem off with a metaphor “Ramrodding the current.” A ramrod is a long stick used to put ammunition or to clean a gun implying the trout is pushing its way through the current as the stick pushes its way up the gun barrel. Seamus Heaney has emphasised the whole way through the poem by using this comparison with a deadly weapon that the trout is powerful and we should be afraid of it yet admire its skill and abilities.
Seamus Heaney has used rhyme and rhythm and alliteration to reinforce the image we have of the trout. He has used internal rhyme in the third stanza from the phrase “where water unravels/ over gravel beds.” The unravels and gravels rhyme have vs in them creating a rippling sound like water adding to the rhythm. The writer has also used...

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