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Monday, 2 May 2016
THE TOLLUND MAN BY SEAMUS HEANEY
I could risk blasphemy, Consecrate the cauldron bog Our holy ground and pray Him to make germinate ....
I could risk ........ to make germinate ..
REFERENCE (i) Poem: The Tollund Man (ii) Poet: Seamus Heaney CONTEXT (i) Occurrence: Middle of the Poem (Lines 21-24/44)
(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.
In these lines the poet wishes to worship and pray the Tollund Man. He says that he can risk blasphemy. Blasphemy is the action or offence of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things. However, the poet does not care for the probability or threat of damage or any other negative occurrence that may be caused by external or internal vulnerabilities. This act of poet is an act of pagan rather than Catholic. Moreover, he wants to declare "the cauldron bog" of the Tollund Man as a diety, who is holy, divine and sacred. He also calls that ground "our holy ground" where this naturally mummified corpse was found. Here the poet also suggests a deep kinship between his Irish home and Denmark. Finally he wants to pray to the Tollund Man to raise the dead Irish. In other words, the poet has made the Tollund Man a surrogate of God. In short, these lines alert us the pagan aspects of the poem.