Compare the Feelings Presented in ‘the Blackbird of Glanmore’ and One Other Poem

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In both ‘The Blackbird of Glanmore’ and ‘Neighbours’, the focal point of the poem are birds, as they represent a certain character or event. In the case of ‘The Blackbird of Glanmore’, Heaney describes the way a blackbird reminds him of a past tragedy, but uses the tragedy as an optimistic viewpoint for the future. Similarly, Clarke uses birds in her poem as an ominous subject when she shows how the Chernobyl disaster affected so many lives in so many countries across Europe. However, it can be argued that Clarke’s poem is intended for a more political or historical view, and how it affected humanity. In contrast, Heaney’s poem is very personal and shows the effects that nature has on him, rather than to everyone. Clarke presents a certain ominous feeling in her poem. This is evident in the quote “small birds fell: song thrushes…smudged signatures on light”. The death of the birds symbolises is how Clarke exposes the extent of the damage caused by the Chernobyl disaster. In particular, the use of the word “small” by Clarke is very effectively used. The word “small” presents the image of the birds as innocent, thus creating a sense of sympathy from the reader when they read that they “fall”. As well as this, I believe that the use of the word “small” could have also been used by Clarke to emphasise the birds’ innocence; the word “small” is a very basic and simple word, and I think this is used by Clarke to show how the birds were so unaware of the disaster and how unlucky they were to be victims of the disaster. I believe she does this to make the description of the birds is very similar to one of a young child, which also has connotations of innocence and gains a lot of sympathy from readers. This interlinks well with the character of Heaney’s brother in the other poem and how he was an unlucky victim of something he had no knowledge about before, or something he

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