Here are the answers to the questions on the samples page. If you find any of these answers wrong or doubtful, send e-mail to Seamus.Cooney@wmich.edu.
I wandered lonely as a cloudSimile (I am like a cloud in my loneliness and detachment).
That floats on high o'er vale and hill
Crossing the street,Simile ("gleaming like fruit"), then metaphor ("evening's mild gold leaf").
I saw the parents and the child
At their window, gleaming like fruit
With evening's mild gold leaf.
The Soul selects her own Society --Metaphor (the soul is a person entertaining some visitors while excluding others).
Then shuts the door -- ...
Love a child is ever criing,Metaphor (an extended analogy, but presented as an identity, so a metaphor and not a simile).
Please him, and hee straite is flying,
Give him hee the more is craving
Never satisfi'd with having ...
That time of year thou mayest in me beholdMetaphor, with a second metaphor within it (first my age as autumn, then the boughs as a person's limbs shaking with the cold).
When yellow leaves, or none, or few do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold ...
The Curfew tolls the knell of parting day ...Metaphor (evening as a funeral).
When my mother died I was very young ...Neither: just plain statement.
O Rose, thou art sick.Metaphor (the flower as a person).
Be near me when my light is low ...Metaphor (vitality as a lamp or candle).
The sea is calm tonight.Neither: just plain statement.
The tide is full ...
An aged man is but a paltry thing,Plain statement, followed by a metaphor (old man as scarecrow).
A tattered cloak upon a stick ...
As if he had been pouredMetaphors -- three of them, by my count (Heaney is describing "Grauballe Man," a stone-age corpse recovered from a bog in Denmark). "Poured in tar" I take to be a metaphor seeing the mummified body as something poured into a sort of mold. "Pillow of turf" is a simple seeing of the peat on which he lies as a bed. And "weep the black river of himelf" compares the flowing of tears to the flowing of a river (black -- like "tar" above -- referring to the literal color of the corpse).
in tar, he lies
on a pillow of turf
and seems to weep
the black river of himself.
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