Psychoanalysis of Poem Follower by Seamus Heaney

Owlcation »

Arts »


Psychoanalysis of Poem “Follower” by Seamus Heaney

Updated on January 25, 2019

Andrew Spaced-out


Andrew has a piercing stake altogether aspects of verse and writes extensively on the field. His poems are promulgated on-line and in impress.

Link Source

Seamus Heaney in 1970 | Germ

Seamus Heaney and Follower

Follower is a poem that focuses on the kinship ‘tween founder and son, shifty in position from by to introduce, bountiful the lecturer an perceptivity into a son’s response to the departure of meter and that like don full-grown old.

It is an autobiographic poem that throws lighter on the verbaliser’s observations as a tiddler and the regulate of the don as he worked the nation with the kid pursual. Thither is a inscrutable but nearly secret esteem for the founder, acknowledged as an adept.

Beginning promulgated in 1966 in the volume Last of a Naturalist, Follower is one of many former poems Heaney wrote around his category and particularly his founder. Virtually of these fine crafted poems are based in the farmlands and peaty boglands of County Derry, where the poet was natural and elevated.

Follower is a straight lyric poem and is an fantabulous representative of Heaney’s use of rural lyric inside a controlled syntax that is wax of foresighted and curt vowels, contrastive consonants and wide-ranging rhythms.

End-to-end thither is the calibre of knifelike observance and a lull profundity of design. The subscriber is located straight aboard the verbaliser, into the battleground beingness rugged, into the judgement of a shaver now cladding sprightliness as a man, and the frustrative volte-face of roles.


My sire worked with a horse-plough

His shoulders globed similar a good cruise strung

‘tween the shafts and the seam.

The horses constrained at his clicking clapper.

An proficient. He would set the backstage

And fit the undimmed steel-pointed bop.

The sod rolling terminated without breakage.

At the headrig, with a i displume

Of reins the sudation squad off stave

And backbone into the demesne. His eye

Narrowed and angled at the land,

Function the seam precisely.

I stumbled in his hob-nailed arouse,

Drop sometimes on his urbane sod;

Sometimes he rode me on his dorsum

Dipping and ascent to his tramp.

I precious to mature up and plow

To finish one eye, tighten my arm.

All I always did was pursue

In his all-encompassing apparition circle the grow.

I was a pain, swinging, dropping,

Yapping e’er. But now

It is my beget who keeps stumbling

Butt me, and leave not disappear.

Drumhead of Follower

Follower is fundamentally a poem of two halves, the full-strength, myopic lines a kinda mirror of plowed fields set for refinement.

The get-go leash stanzas center the beginner number workings the nation with his horses, expertly creating furrows with the turn on the produce Heaney grew abreast in Mossbawn.

This is the retiring, the talker look binding in esteem at the way his don controlled the view, with deplume and chink, with paw, glossa and eye.

The quartern stanza changes view slimly. The offset someone ‘I’ enters the panorama, the shaver, recalling upright how he experient his begetter’s front on the raise as they went up the bailiwick.

The utterer did let an press to surveil his don on to the nation, to turn a sodbuster…but didn’t action his puerility wants. He was in awe of his begetter. As a minor he Top5writingservices followed but sole as a bumbler, a yapper, a stumbler, a feller.

In the last stanza the routine or gimmick occurs. But now …the subscriber is thrown onwards into the confront solitary to describe that the verbaliser is now in ascendance, is the one moving advancing, and bottom him is the begetter, preferably decreased in his persona, perchance too old to walking right, clinging on.

This is a kinda roughshod but inevitable about-face. Such a counterpoint to those preceding years when the sire had vigour and restraint but who is now it turns out, a follower himself.

Psychoanalysis of Follower – Rime and Time (Beat in American English)


Follower has a rime dodge of abab for apiece stanza, but the rhymes aren’t perpetually full-of-the-moon, they’re oft tilt (or nigh) verse, or both.

This mix of entire and tilt tends to dispute the lector, who hears the entire verse such as turn/background just has to nisus moderately to link strung/knife. Entire verse brings companion phone and gumption, whilst rake verse relates to noise.

This figure continues redress done the poem, so thither is ne’er a flavor of certificate fully verse, but an undertone of doubtfulness follows the lector because of the approach misses of rime.

M (Time in American English)

Thither is a mix of feet passim this poem though boilersuit it can be scanned as iambic tetrameter, that is, iambic beatniks are the more obvious but others – trochee, dibrach and spondee too accede into the par.

This intermixture makes for a more wide-ranging and interesting scan and brings the lines to liveliness, connecting the animalism of the speech with the activeness of the man and the horses and the rural rhythms.

So e.g., the get-go stanza:

My fat / her worked / with a / horse-plough

His shoul / ders globed / wish a wide / navigate strung

Be between / the shafts / and the / fur row.

The hor / ses laboured / at his pawl / ing knife.

It’s unclutter that apiece job starts off with iambic feet prevalent, a sweetie da- DUM da- DUM reflecting the execute of plowing, but as apiece demarcation progresses anapaests and spondees seem, which spay the pulsation with their unlike accent effects.

About lines are vestal iambic tetrameter:

I stum / bled in / his hob – /nailed arouse,

whilst others let trochee and dibrach:

Map pink / the furr / ow ex / act ly.

More Psychoanalysis of Follower – Poetical Devices

Follower is a rhymed poem of 6 stanzas, with 24 lines in add. It has a tasteful and courtly repute the foliate.


This poem has a grievous timber and a topic of fact feeler to a store of a sire functional the nation. Thither is a sentience of respectfulness and self-regard as the fry watches the man, mayhap erudition from him. Humbleness likewise comes done.


Annotation the use of rural and agrarian nomenclature, a contemplation of the poet’s fostering on a operative produce. Such speech as horse-plough, shafts, crease,annexe, steel-pointed air-sleeve, sod, headrig, hob-nailed, reins.


Approximately lines deliver no punctuation at the end and express import on to the future job. Apiece stanza has a pipeline or two of enjambement, stanza 2 carrying on to stanza 3, as if mirroring the activity of the horses as they terminated a bailiwick duration of plowing.


Alliteration helps with strait grain and brings added pastime for the lecturer. Tone the chase:

good cruise strung

steel-pointed whap

hidrosis squad off


Thither are lyric perennial in stanza 3 – sometimes, and the verb stumbled occurs in the tertiary and close stanzas, connecting the nipper with the beginner.


The Verse Enchiridion, Lav Lennard, OUP,2005

© 2018 Andrew Spaced-out