Owen Sheers: ‘Inheritance’ vs. ‘The Airy Tomb’


  • Three stanzas; first and second are seven lines long, the third is six lines long.
  • Varied line length.
  • End-stopping
  • Enjambment
  • From his father he inherited his love for farming and a stammer.
  • From his mother he inherited humbleness and appreciation.
  • The mood is reflective and positive despite a sad topic.
  • Talks about Welsh heritage and farmers’ lifestyle.
  • His skills came to him naturally.
  • Semantic fields of death, life and family.
  • Both his parents die.
  • Talks about agriculture.
  • Imagery from his childhood.

The Airy Tomb

  • Eight stanzas.
  • Similar line length.
  • Long poem about a short life.
  • Third person.
  • Long sentences.
  • Each stanza has a different topic representing a new chapter in his life – at school, leaves school, dad dies, mum dies, alone after mum’s funeral, farming, girls, death.
  • The three stages of writing in the poem are – Twm literally, then representing Welsh farmers and finally him being symbolic of people who live off the land.
  • Twm talks about inheritance from his parents.
  • The mood of the poem is quite depressing – consumed by sadness and negativity.
  • Talks about Welsh heritage and farmers’ lifestyle.
  • Twm develops skills throughout his childhood.
  • Pathetic fallacy used.
  • Twm inherits the farm.
  • Parents die.
  • Imagery from childhood.
  • Reflects his life on the farm.
  • The poem is a biography of his life.

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