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From "London" to "Potato", Seamus Heaney in graphs | Poetry & Contingency
Yesterday I tested out a method of exploring poetic diction in poetic corpora, using Geoffrey Hill's opus up to 2012 . I left several issues hanging in that post, which I thought I would follow up on today. For one, I implied that there might be value in comparing the general picture or footprint of the graph to other corpora, e.g. of another poet. More generally the implication was that graphing word frequencies like this might be a productive way of exploring a poetic corpus. In that sense, finding much that (as a long-time close reader of Hill) I would expect to find serves as a confirmation that this method produces relevant outcomes, as much as it is an exploration of Hill's word-fondness and unfondness. Here I'll do the same analysis with another poet whose work I know pretty well, both as a second check on the method and a first attempt to see what it might be able to tell us about one poet's corpus as a whole vs. another's. The corpus is Seamus Heaney's Opened Ground (not a