An In Depth Analysis Of Digging

1285 words - 6 pages

“Digging'; is about a person looking out of a window at their Father digging, describing what he/she sees and then the poem goes on to describe what he/she feels.
I believe that the narrative voice in the poem is in fact that of Seamus Heaney. There are a number of clues that lead me to this conclusion. The first and most obvious one is in the first line,
‘Between my finger and my thumb.’

The poet writes in the first person throughout the poem. He writes about his Father and his Grandfather and he seems to move from describing his Father to describing his Grandfather. He does this so smoothly that the reader harldy notices the transition that took place. The ...view middle of the document...

So Heaney dedicates his life to writing.Digging is written primarily about what Heaney sees through the window, ‘Under my window…’

So the poem is based on sight. However, the poet uses the other three senses to emphasize what he sees. For example, ‘…a clean rasping sound.When the spade sinks into the gravelly ground’
The first line is clearly used to emphasize and make the second line clearer. That line also paints an image in the readers mind of the spade sinking in and the scratching/rasping sound it makes. An example of how the author does the same thing only with the sense touch is, ‘The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft Against the inside knee was levered firmly.’ In this case the second line emphasizes the first. It does this by using the words levered and firmly they make the whole phrase seem more realistic.

However the best possible example of this is when the poet uses two senses to emphasize sight ‘The cold smell of potatoe mould, the squelch and slap Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge.’
These two lines not only include two senses but one of the senses uses two onomatopoeic words; squelch and slap. These two words suggest someone moving through thick soggy mud for some reason it also suggests to me that it was on a cold day.
In my opinion that line is also quite interesting to read because it paints a clear picture in my mind’s eye of someone toiling and sloshing around in the mud. I think this is because the poet uses words like; soggy, curt, cuts and edge. Since those words are sharp words they make the phrase clearer and sharper in my mind’s eye.
I think the poet’s attitute to work is that of a perfectionist. I get this impression because of how picky he is about describing the way his Father and Grandfather worked. For example, ‘Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods Over his shoulder, going down and down For the good turf. Digging!’
These lines especially the first one show the perfectionist’s attitude to work. ‘Nicking and slicing neatly…’
I also think the poet preferred working...

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