An analysis of the poem digging

In this poem, Seamus Heaney shows a contrast between the art of writing with his long family lineage of being close to the earth. He appears to celebrate the way of life that his father and grandfather, to an extent, shared, and the nostalgia represented in this poem suggests that the speaker's feelings toward his career as a writer are not cut-and-dry.

Both the father and the grandfather seem to be pretty hard-working, tough men, and the lines in the poem continue to emphasize that fact by calling our attention to the grandfather's constant effort.

digging seamus heaney literary devices

But instead of digging out potato drills and peat, he digs out his emotions, his deepest darkest secrets, the lives of his father and his grandfather, and most importantly, he digs out the country that is embedded in his heart; Ireland. In previous generations, men had to dig for both food and fuel.

Stanza 5 The fifth stanza is comprised of just two simple lines as the speaker marvels at his father. They are woven with a keen instinct for the special sounds words produce - harsh consonants, deep long vowels - placed on the page with a knowing sense of form. Inhe published his first major work, Death of a Naturalist, in which this poem is included.

Stanza 4 The fourth stanza is rich in description, as the speaker paints the image of his father digging through the potato beds. The reader is then transported even further through time as the speaker then conjures images of his grandfather performing a similar task.

An analysis of the poem digging

They will gladly analyze anything from Shakespeare to modern authors and you will have time to deal with other assignments! Analysis Of Digging Rhyme There is no set rhyme scheme for Digging, no established pattern of end rhymes. The speaker was there, observing the hard work, the detail, as his father went about digging up the new potatoes. Since we the readers know that the speaker is comparing his father's work as a farmer to his own work as a writer, we can conclude with some certainty that the speaker is thinking of how intrinsic his own trade is to himself. Summary of Digging This poem is autobiographical in nature. The spondees bring force to the words - clean rasp and spade sinks - and, especially in line 4, combine with trochees to bring assertive action as the spade does its work. Starting from Stanza 3, the poem is no longer so structured and here is where the narrator's change about his father changes. Shorter lines tend to slow things down, so note that stanzas 2,3,5 and 8 end with short lines to reflect the slowing down of the spadework being observed. The digging of his parents differs from the digging of a son. Use of these long and short vowels, with gutterals, brings texture and interest to the sounds, giving the poem a depth of contrast in various stanzas. Stanza 7 The memory of that scene is alive in the speaker's mind. This stanza brings the reader intimately into a detailed scene where grandfather is out on the bog with his spade and in comes someone with a drink, milk in a bottle. Essentially it is a free verse poem with strong internal rhymes, alliteration and assonance, typical textured Heaney. He then shares an anecdote with his reader as he describes encountering his grandfather out on the bog one day. There is no punctuation at the end of the last line in stanza two, the thought is continued into the third stanza.

Why the speaker returns to rhyme is not entirely clear, but the return reminds the reader of the speaker's specific line of work, as a poet.

Yeats back inso Heaney is in the best of company.

digging annotations

Metaphor The pen is the spade, the speaker declaring that he will use the pen to dig with, leaving behind the tool of his forefathers, the farmer's spade.

He comes from a long line of diggers, and he seems pretty proud.

What is a squat pen

The only other Irish poet to claim this accolade was W. Metaphor The pen is the spade, the speaker declaring that he will use the pen to dig with, leaving behind the tool of his forefathers, the farmer's spade. In the last line of the 5th stanza, we witness a transition to the relationship between his grandfather and Related Documents Seamus Heaney 's Poem, Scaffolding, And Overarching Sound Effects known as prosody — bring the words of a poem to life and offer readers a deeper understanding of the piece overall. Heaney was an Irish playwright, poet, and academic; he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in When the son digs, he digs for history in which he is proud. But note the trochees 2nd line, 2nd and 3rd feet which together with the semi-colon pauses the reader and places stress on pen and snug. In this respect it is a very personal declaration - the son of the farmer is no longer tied to the land and the spade but will instead use the pen to dig his way into life.
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Digging Summary