A Drink of Water Essay

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Aviya Kushner, the poetry editor for Neworld Renaissance Magazine, earned an MA. in creative writing fromBoston University. In the following essay, Kushner discusses Heaney's portrayal of the turmoils in Irish history against the beautiful backdrop of Ireland in his writings. She also presents the argument that "A Drink of Water " is actually alluding to the struggles of an Irish poet writing in the poetical form and language of his enemy.

"The Irish thing," as Nobel Prize-winner Heaney calls it in one of his poems, never seems to go away, both in Heaney's poetry and in his personal life. In stanza after stanza, Heaney addresses the political and religious conflicts of his birthplace—the blood, the gore, and the deep divisions between neighbors.

Heaney's poetry and prose also reveal a strong need to depict a personal heritage. He must write about the land, the heritage of the farm, and...

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This section contains 1,367 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Drink of Water Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
A Drink of Water from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.