Digging, by Seamus Heaney
In this poem, Heaney seems to use his father’s and his grandfather’s digging into the the homeland ground as a comparison to his writing and development of his poetry. Heaney’s father and grandfather use their shovels to work with the land, while Heaney uses his poem to work on his ideas to write poetry.
The narrative voice in this poem is first person narrative throughout the poem. This is proven already in the first lin, in the first stanza:
”Between my finger and my thumb”. The narrative voice may very vwell be Seamus Heaney himself. Seamus mentions ’turf’ in the fifth stanza. Ireland is on of few countries left in Europe that still have turf bogs. There is an obvious link to his country.
The poem is written in free verse. This form of free verse allows the poet a freedom for subtle rythmic variety, for example using assonance, or making words look like they rhyme.
In the fist stanz
It is creating the beginning of the memories being told by the poet. Heaney uses the word "tmgun"tm in relation to his "tmpen"tm. In the second stanza where Heaney uses "tmtwenty years"tm, he is watching his father digging in the flowerbeds and this brings back memories of his grandfather working in the potato field. So Heaney follows his call in life, which is to be a writer. a the opening focuses our attention to the fact that this is set in present time. Heaney plays with the language throughout his poem by using images that appeal to our sensen like sounds, sight, touch and smell. This is to give the reader a "tmsense of time"tm, and sharing the memories with the reader. Heaney himself may not be a very good digger, but he certainly can write poems. The next lines indicate that Heaney is sitting inside, working with his poem, when he suddenly hears his father start working, "tmwhen the spade sinks into the gravelly ground"tm. We can see through language that Heaney respects what his father and grandfather did, as farmers, a great deal; "tmby God he could handle a spade"tm, "tmMy grandfather cut more turf in one day than any other man on Toner"tms bog"tm. Heaney is becoming emotional, and thinks about that the tomes when he was little and sometimes helped his grandfather out in the fields, this were good times. He wants the reader to be skilled in what we do, and not try to be someone were not.