Saturday, 30 April 2016

THE TOLLUND MAN BY SEAMUS HEANEY


Some day I will go to Aarhus
To see his peat-brown head,
The mild pods of his eye-lids,
His pointed skin cap.

Some day I will ........... pointed skin cap.

REFERENCE
(i) Poem: The Tollund Man
(ii) Poet: Seamus Heaney
CONTEXT
(i) Occurrence: Start of the Poem (Lines 1-4/44)
(ii) Content: Heaney yearns to go to Aarhus in Denmark to see the wizened remains of the bog-body of the Tollund man. He is amazed to see the well-preserved physical features of this man. He regards the Tollund man as a deity so he wants to worship him, against all religious constraints. He shares a sympathetic relationship with this mummified corpse. He considers the Tollund man a surrogate Christ. He wishes to call upon his to raise the dead Irish. He wants to derive a sort of power from the body, from the country, from being alone.
EXPLANATION
    In these lines the poet expresses his desire for a pilgrimage and describes the head, eyes, and skin of the Tollund Man. The poet wishes to go to Aarhus. Aarhus is the second-largest city in Denmark and the seat of Aarhus Municipality. It is located on the east coast of the Jutland peninsula, where the naturally mummified corpse of the Tollund Man was found in 1950. He wants to go there to see the Tollund Man. The Tollund Man is probably the most well-preserved body from pre-historic times in the world. According to the poet, the "peat-brown head" of the Tollund Man is almost shockingly well preserved. His eyes are closed. The thin fold of the skin that cover his eyes are like "mild pods". The body itself has shrunk, thus the skin has sharpened or tapered tips. In short, the poet has beautifully described the physical features of the body body of the Tollund Man with fanatical obsession. These lines also show the poet's interest in archaeology. 

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