Unseen Poetry Sample Answer – ‘Seed’ by Paula Meehan (2010 exam)
1. (b) Choose one image from the poem that appealed to you. Explain your choice. (10)
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‘Seed’ by Paula Meehan is a beautiful poem that contains a plethora of images communicating the wonder of the eponymous seed. One specific image that appealed to me is that of the narrator discovering a lupin in the aftermath of the storm.
The narrator says that the lupins were ‘holding in their fingers a raindrop each like a peace offering or a promise,’ and I find this image to be extremely powerful and inspiring. Meehan’s narrator proceeds to recognise the damage of the storm as it ‘emerges from a house where hope had died,’ and we’re made to feel that this discovery somehow reconciles the damage.
I think the poet acknowledges the cathartic qualities of the flower and from these lines it’s perceptible that Meehan views it as something that has the ability to withstand the harsh conditions of the storm. The idea that it is a promise is representative of the hope it’s imbued with: the raindrops have emerged from the storm in splendid glory, thus Meehan is communicating an uplifting message that is resoundingly positive. Metaphorically, the raindrops are a metaphor for new life and beginning.
Moreover, Meehan personifies the flower, elevating its importance, and allowing the reader to relate to it on a more human level. The fact that it emerged ‘holding’ the raindrops further exemplifies nature’s immense power.
Overall, throughout the poem, we are made aware of the regenerative qualities of the seed and the image I’ve selected highlights nature’s ability to overcome adversity and emerge stronger than ever.
In my opinion, through this poem, Paula Meehan wishes to convey how something as small as a seed can be so powerful and important and her message is touching and uplifting. This image of the resilient lupin is not only one of the poem’s most appealing images; it elucidates Meehan’s hopeful and upbeat message.
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