Seamus Heaney tells us about a memory from his childhood. A policeman visits his household farm to take a record of the harvests that Heaney’s male parent is turning. The description of the bike is our first indicant that the police officer is non welcomed and that he is seen -by Heaney at least –as an intimidating. unpleasant figure. Everything in the description of the motorcycle intimations at this. The ‘fat black handlegrips’ sound ugly and unpleasant. and seem to propose that the bicycle’s proprietor might be likewise unsympathetic. The dynamo is ‘cockedback’ . reminding us of the trigger of a gun. The pedals are ‘relieved / Of the boot of the law’ . connoting that the constable is a adult male whose presence causes force per unit area and uncomfortableness. He represents ‘the law’ and is hence disliked. At that clip in Northern Ireland. most Catholics would hold viewed the constabulary as an oppressive force. The descriptions of the constable reinforce that thought.
The rough ‘k’ and ‘g’ sounds in the gap stanzas emphasise the abrasiveness of the authorization the constable represents and they besides create a sense of tenseness. It is clear that the constable is non welcome in the Heaney place. His chapeau is on the floor: cipher has taken it from him or offered him a topographic point to set it. Again. the physical description of the constable focal points on unattractive facets of his visual aspect. His hair is ‘slightly sweating’ and marked by the cap he has been have oning. The thought of his oppressive presence is once more picked up by the mention to the leger ( record book ) being ‘heavy’ . The immature Heaney is filled with fright as he watches the constable. He stares at his gun and remembers every item of it in its holster. The tone of the verse form is one of fright. Meanwhile. the constable continues to enter the family’s harvests. Heaney’s male parent answer’s the constable’s inquiries with curt. one word replies. demoing how unwelcome both he and his question are.
The immature male child is terrified to hear his male parent lying about the harvests. He knows that there is a line of Brassica rapas which his male parent has non admitted to. and in his horror-stricken imaginativeness. he sees his male parent –and possibly even himself –being taken to the barracks and thrown in a cell. The constable takes his leave. seting the ledger off. Heaney refers to it as the ‘domesday book’ because he is so panicky that his male parent will be judged and punished for his small prevarication about the Brassica rapas. This name for the leger besides reinforces the thought of the constable belonging to an oppressive force which holds the menace of force over people like Heaney’s male parent. Of class. the immature male child is grossly overstating the policeman’s power in this case. To a little kid. the prevarication about the Brassica rapas seems tremendous. but in world. cipher would be thrown in gaol for such a minor offense. even if it were to be discovered. However. immature Heaney’s emotions towards the constable reflect his father’s disfavor and bitterness of being held to account for his harvests.
The constable expressions at the immature male child and says ‘goodbye’ . This reminds us that the constable is. in world. merely a adult male. This is the lone case of his humanity. It is non likely that he wishes to look endangering or intimidating. but that is how he is viewed by the Catholic community. He is seen as a representative of an unwelcome. despised. oppressive authorization. Outside the window. the constable is for a minute merely a shadow. There is something shadowy about the descriptions of him throughout the verse form. We ne’er learn any inside informations approximately him as a individual: what we learn of him is based on the images of threat and menace.