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This Is Poetry (HL 2019) videos: Seamus Heaney

The Forge
The Tollund Man
A Constable Calls
The Harvest Bow
The Underground
The Pitchfork
A Call


This video shows a blacksmith at work in Bunratty Castle, Co. Clare. Watch carefully, then answer the following questions:

• What is he making?

• Name the different pieces of equipment he uses.

• Choose three adjectives that best describe the sounds of the forge and three adjectives that best describe the colours and visuals of the forge.

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What impression does the video below give you of the Irish bogland and its ability to tell us about our past?

Watch the video below. Why do you think the poet dedicated the poem to the artist T.P. Flanagan?

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Watch the video below carefully. Why does the presenter consider the Tollund Man’s death to have been a sacrificial killing rather than an execution?

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This video depicts a series of events that took place twenty years after those described in this poem. What is ticking at the conclusion of the poem? What other devices are known for producing a ticking sound? Do these lines anticipate the Troubles depicted in the video?

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This video features Seamus Heaney reading ‘The Harvest Bow’ and ‘A Call’. Describe in your own words how these bows were manufactured. Why, according to the poet, did this tradition originate?

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This video shows Seamus Heaney speaking about and reading this poem. What feelings or emotions come across from his performance of the poem? Does his reading style convey regret, anger, fondness, nostalgia, or something else entirely?

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This video contains a news item on NASA’s space probe Juno. Watch the video carefully, then answer the following questions:

• How long has Juno been flying through space? What was the probe’s destination?

• Describe in your own words the shape and movement of the probe.

• List three aspects of the planet investigated by Juno.

• What eventually happened to Juno?

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This video is based on the medieval play Everyman. Watch the video carefully, then answer the following questions:

• What in your opinion are the three or four main things this story says about death and dying?

• The play was written for a Christian audience. Do you believe its message is relevant to believers and non-believers alike?

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