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    Does anyone know what the poem Night Drive by Heaney is about. Any poetic devices used?


    Hi! It might help people to reply if you give a few ideas of what you think of the poem first, and then we can help you to develop your ideas! :yes:

    I haven't studied the poem myself but, having just looked at it now, here are a few things to consider to get you going:
    -- the first stanza uses a lot of long, 'open' vowel sounds - "rain", "hay", "air", "ordinariness", "night", "drive", "France", "draughts" (in no particular order ) - which lulls the reader into a (perhaps false?) sense of security and creates a calming atmosphere - how appropriate does this appear to be to the tone and meaning of the poem?
    -- What is the effect of the foreign town names? Is it likely that the reader knows a great deal about these places? If not, what effect does this have?
    -- "... Were promised, promised, came and went,
    Each place granting its name’s fulfilment." What could the towns be symbolic of here? What could this say about the speaker's outlook at this point? Is he hopeful, resigned, accepting?
    -- "Groaning", "bled" - very corporeal, human words - why does he apply this grotesque language to a beautiful rural landscape?
    -- What is the effect of the word 'I' only being used in the last stanza, in a short sentence?
    -- The penultimate line is very revealing and again makes heavy use of corporeal imagery. Why? Are the people or the landscape more prominent to the speaker?
    -- The word 'ordinariness' is repeated. What is the effect of this? What has changed between its first and last use?
    -- Why is the poem called 'Night Drive'? What may be the effect of being in a transitory state at night?

    Hope this helps! I've only sketched some ideas but if you want to throw in any yourself I'd be happy to help you to develop them.
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Updated: January 16, 2010
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