Seamus Heaney’s poem ‘Follower’, at first glance appears to be a poem dedicated to his childhood idolising of his father, a farmer.   But the twist at the end of poem suggests to the reader that the poem is not merely about the relationship between father and son, but in fact the circle of life.
Six quatrains make up this poem; with the first stanza introducing his father and the power and strength he possesses working in the fields.   The two stanza’s following describe the nature of his father’s work while the fourth stanza hints at the relationship between the two.   The fifth and sixth stanzas differ from the previous ones as the focus has turned more towards the poet himself and his role on the farm.   The last stanza also gives a glimpse of the poet and his father in present day and how their roles have switched.   His use of enjambment allows a smoother and more flowing reading of the poem, perhaps reflecting the way his father worked, uninterrupted and without error.   The very short sentence, ‘An expert’, which starts the second stanza, stands out amongst the rest of the poem’s longer sentences.   This adds particular emphasis to the phrase and its simplicity and frankness implies that his father was exactly that, an expert – a master at his work.  
Heaney’s lexical choices in the poem are particularly effective in describing his father.   His ‘globed’ shoulders not only depict the physicality of his father being broad and rounded, but also suggest that his father meant the whole world to him and encompassed all aspects of his life.   The poem is filled with verbs that make it very active and reflect the physical labour and hard work that is required on a farm.   The poet’s use of verbs like ‘strained, sweating, and mapping’ suggests the difficulty of his father’s job.   ‘Without breaking’, ‘a single pluck’ and ‘exactly’ communicate his father’s flawless and precise execution of all his work.   The adjectives in ‘his eye narrowed and angled’ illustrate the focus and...