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Death of a Naturalist Summary & Analysis
by Seamus Heaney

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“Death of a Naturalist” was written by the Nobel-Prize winning Irish poet Seamus Heaney. It was published in 1966 as the title poem of Death of a Naturalist, Heaney's first book of poetry. The book—and the poem—did much to establish Heaney’s reputation as the leading Irish poet of his generation. The poem meditates on the relationship between human beings and nature, and uses that relationship to explore the transition from childhood to adolescence. As the speaker grows up, his relationship to nature changes. Instead of enjoying the natural world with innocent curiosity, he finds it threatening and disgusting.

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