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Follower Summary & Analysis
by Seamus Heaney

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Seamus Heaney's "Follower" appears in his first major poetry collection, Death of a Naturalist, which was published in 1966 and brought the young poet a great deal of critical attention. The volume is understood to be a largely autobiographical meditation on Heaney's childhood in County Derry, Northern Ireland. Like Heaney, the speaker in "Follower" is a farmer’s son who finds beauty and value in traditional farming practices but struggles to take them up himself. The poem touches on themes that appear throughout Heaney’s work, such as family dynamics, agricultural work, and Irish identity.

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