WORD LISTS

"Death of a Naturalist" by Seamus Heaney

November 13, 2019
The speaker of this poem remembers collecting frog's eggs as a child, but is repulsed by watching frog's spawn in a rotting field in the present day.
fester
All year the flax-dam festered in the heart
Of the townland; green and heavy headed
Flax had rotted there, weighted down by huge sods.
sod
All year the flax-dam festered in the heart
Of the townland; green and heavy headed
Flax had rotted there, weighted down by huge sods.
swelter
Daily it sweltered in the punishing sun.
gargle
Bubbles gargled delicately, bluebottles
Wove a strong gauze of sound around the smell.
clot
There were dragonflies, spotted butterflies,
But best of all was the warm thick slobber
Of frogspawn that grew like clotted water
In the shade of the banks.
range
Here, every spring
I would fill jampotfuls of the jellied
Specks to range on window sills at home,
On shelves at school, and wait and watch until
The fattening dots burst, into nimble
Swimming tadpoles.
nimble
Here, every spring
I would fill jampotfuls of the jellied
Specks to range on window sills at home,
On shelves at school, and wait and watch until
The fattening dots burst, into nimble
Swimming tadpoles.
rank
Then one hot day when fields were rank
With cowdung in the grass the angry frogs
Invaded the flax-dam; I ducked through hedges
To a coarse croaking that I had not heard
Before.
coarse
Then one hot day when fields were rank
With cowdung in the grass the angry frogs
Invaded the flax-dam; I ducked through hedges
To a coarse croaking that I had not heard
Before.
obscene
Some hopped:
The slap and plop were obscene threats.
blunt
Some sat
Poised like mud grenades, their blunt heads farting.
spawn
The great slime kings
Were gathered there for vengeance and I knew
That if I dipped my hand the spawn would clutch it.

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