What similarities and differences can you see in The Thought-Fox and
Digging in terms of ideas, language, structure, and rhythm / rhyme?-
How might these aspects affect any reading of the poem?
What similarities and differences can you see in ‘The Thought-Fox’ and
‘Digging’ in terms of ideas, language, structure, and rhythm / rhyme?
- How might these aspects affect any reading of the poem?
I found that one of the most significant similarities between ‘The
Thought-Fox’ by Ted Hughes and ‘Digging’ by Seamus Heaney, was how the
poets in question talked about their writing process, their creative
process in the poem itself. In each poem the voice of the poet is
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The idea of a process
is also present in ‘The Thought-Fox’, it is the thought processes, the
process of thinking; coming up with ideas themselves.
Another relationship between the two poems is that both authors are
contemplating certain issues which they have concluded by the closing
stages of the poem. It is possible that the conclusion for one issue
may had been reached already by the poet at the beginning of ‘Digging’
but it is not finalized until the end. The issue this writer has is
that of failure, it is clear that the poet holds an immense amount of
respect for his elders and their specialized abilities but possibly
has felt as if he never lived up to their expectations because his
skills lay elsewhere, with the ‘pen’. He is proud of his forefathers
and boasts that his “grandfather cut more turf in a day than any other
man”. So the fundamental idea of the poem besides writers block, in
this case, is that of acceptance, acceptance that his future does not
lie in farming with “men like them”, whatever he may wish and
acceptance of himself and his own personal identity.
‘The Thought-Fox’ on the other hand can be simply interpreted as just
the breakthrough of writers block, by the last stanza the writer has
successfully completed a page of writing, and the problem is solved.
The issue of not having the ideas or imagination to write has been
solved by an epiphany, a dramatic influx of ideas which could have
been influenced by nature.
One of the clearly defined similarities between these two poems ideas
is that they in actuality are investigating the same key matter,
writers block. This leads onto the structure and the form of the two
poems, which are both quite different. ‘The Thought-Fox’ has a more
clearly defined arrangement within the poem, it follows an order, and
it has a beginning, middle and an end. Where ‘Digging’ does not, it is
the reminiscences of the poet as he sat thinking on what to write and
has no noticeably regular format apart from specific repetition.
The major similarity between the two poems structure is that they both
have distinct stanzas, neither are continuous free verse and both are
aligned to the left hand side. One other significant point is that
they both have considerably shorter lines for the very last line, this
gives emphasis to the line and shows the importance of the information
it is giving. The most noticeable difference between the two poems is
that they do not both have regular stanzas; ‘The Though Fox’ has
regular stanzas of four lines where ‘Digging’ has stanzas of varied
Language is another aspect of poems that needs to be closely analysed
because a different use of language could change the tone of a poem or
even its meaning for anyone reading the poem. The likeness of the two
poems is that they both use a range of poetic language to create the
poem, to give a certain effect. Both poems use metaphors within
themselves to create a...