How Can We Use the Poem “Shancoduff” to Illustrate the Language Acquisition, Cultural Aspect and Personal Growth

Scancoduff” is a poem written by by Patrick Kavanagh about some land, rural life and how nature is beautiful despite all the frustration and loneliness.

The language acquisition is illustrated by the acquisition of the new vocabulary such as the following words: incurious, eternally, chapel, shillings, perish, calves, sleety, fondle, rushy beards, sheaf, hay, sheltering, cattle-drovers, snipe, and forsaken. Most of the words are connected to farming of cattle, specific vocabulary for villagers and those who have farms. In addition, the names of geographical places which are also important to fully grasp the meaning of the poem including the Alps, the Matterhorn, Big forth of Rocksavage, Shancoduff, Armagh, and Fetherna Bush. Something quite typical for this poem are the  unusual adjectives describing nouns, and those could be: black hills, bright shillings, perishing calves, sleety winds, rushy beards, and hungry hills. Immensely hard to decipher what a black hills could mean as well as hungry hills.

The cultural aspect is illustrated by presenting this land as a poet’s homeland where feelings are involved. Also another acknowledgement could be the recognition of how the others see the poets in that society in that time, even though they have a land, they are poor because they are poets. The love for the homeland and how the hills are like the Alps and the poet had climbed the highest peak on the Alps is a very good way to point out that it is a cultural thing for those who live there at least once in their live to climb the highest peak.

The personal growth could be explained by connection to the reader’s homeland, as there is no better comparison than our own home. What would be the Alps and what would be the Matterhorn in readers homeland. Would you describe such a place with those words used in the poem?  “Then by heavens he must be poor” what the poet means by saying this.  What the poet refers to when he writes “My hills hoard the bright shillings of March?”

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