Follower – Seamus Heaney
Follower is a poem by Seamus Heaney in which he depicts the evolution of his relationship with his father. We have access to both his memories of his father as a child and as an adult, at the present.
The poem also suggests the theme of growth: the beginning of the poem is from a child's perspective however by the end of the poem it is an adult voice.
I.A Child's admiration for his father
⁃ The first three stanzas of the poem focus on Heaney's memories of his father.
Heaney looks up too his father so much that he said he wanted too grow up and plough.
son, who admires his fathers hard work and physical strength
⁃ The first three stanzas of the poem are written in the third person with all words relating to his father as 'he' or 'his'. But there is a change in the fourth stanza and from then on until the end of the poem, it is written in the first person with only one reference in the whole of the last two verses to his father as 'him'.
⁃ Use of nautical imagery to value the work of his father
⁃ “Mapping the furrow”
⁃ → As if he were navigating a ship - idea of the father as a captain, he controlled/influenced his son's mind in a way.
⁃ The father is sturdy while the child falls - his feet are not big enough for him to be steady on the uneven land.
⁃ “His shoulders globed like a full sail strung”
⁃ → image of his father
⁃ → father is portrayed in
⁃ “dipping and rising to his plod”
⁃ → him on his father's back
⁃ → like a wave
⁃ → plod : father's heavy footsteps
⁃ The “sod” rolls over “without breaking” (like a wave).
⁃ words that show us again the precision that is needed: “narrowed” and “angled”
⁃ “stumbled in his hobnailed wake”
⁃ → wake : the waves a boat leaves behind it
⁃ → hobnailed : big 'crampons'
⁃ → his father makes a huge footprint in the ground
⁃ → image of him following in his father's footsteps : as a child, he wanted to become a farmer, just like his...