The speaker is focusing on the pen in his hand. 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. This reversal disturbs us almost as much as the graphic imagery with which the frogs are described. Both lines have five feet and a mix of iambic, trochaic and spondaic. 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. Why do you think Heaney would compare these two totally different objects in such a way? 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.
The poem is about a coming of age, the first stanza containing words like 'mammy' gives it a childish feel. Here is an analysis of the poem Digging by Seamus Heaney. It addresses themes of time and history and the cyclical nature of the two through the narrators characterization of his father digging in the bog on their family farm. The goal of digging has changed, but the action itself has not. Between my finger and my thumb The squat pen rests.
Rhyme There is no set rhyme scheme for Digging, no established pattern of end rhymes. The speaker can hear someone digging into soil. It is clear that Heaney has fond memories of this and even helped out as a child by picking potatoes that his father dug up lines 13-14 and bringing his grandfather milk while he worked line 19. What does change though is the tense as the speaker, watching his father bend as he goes through the potato drills, goes back in time 20 years, perhaps to when he was a child. My grandfather cut more turf in a day Than any other man on Toner's bog.
He begins with a memory of his father digging for potatoes twenty years earlier and later recalls a similar memory of his grandfather cutting turf. This expression seems to burst from the speaker naturally, suggesting that he truly feels impressed by his father's and grandfather's skill. He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep To scatter new potatoes that we picked, Loving their cool hardness in our hands. Heaney gives us an image of a hand specifically the fingers holding a pen. Three years later, he published his second volume of poetry, Door into the Dark.
Between my finger and my thumb The squat pen rests; snug as a gun. What is notable is the fact that the speaker holds a pen - from the first line the pen holds the power of the present and on into the future , whilst the spade used by the father is distanced, a tool of the past. I look down Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds Bends low, comes up twenty years away Stooping in rhythm through potato drills Where he was digging. Historical Significance of Digging While this poem certainly is not political in nature, it does give a glimpse into the lives of hardworking Irishmen. By God, the old man could handle a spade. And, now the son, and grandson, does not plow the earth; he writes.
The poem is about a coming of age, the first stanza containing words like 'mammy' gives it a childish feel. The family roots are cut, metaphorically and, in his memory, physically. Stanza 6 The eight lines contained in the sixth stanza are the longest in the poem. Bridgen, Wales: Seren Books, 1994. He has respect for those who were expert diggers. Throughout the poem, Heaney walks the reader through each stage of his life up until the point he wrote Personal Helicon. Stanza 5 The fifth stanza is comprised of just two simple lines as the speaker marvels at his father.
Stanza 1 A non-rhyming couplet, the opening lines set the scene, giving a close up for the reader of the speaker's finger and thumb holding a pen with which he is writing? He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep To scatter new potatoes that we picked, Loving their cool hardness in our hands. Digging is beyond his own reach, it seems, so to an extent he idealizes it. Publication date 1966 Media type Print Pages 58 pp Followed by Death of a Naturalist 1966 is a collection of poems written by , who received the 1995. This pen is powerful and full of life changing potential - the reference to a gun suggests that it can fire bullets, symbolic ones of course. Note the repeat of the title word. It is also a poem about man's relationship with nature, which is extensively described in the poem. But I've no spade to follow men like them.
By remembering these strong male family characters and their reliance on the spade for a living, he now is able to wake up. Sadly, there's too many of those about, but hopefully our current editors will all be replaced someday by people with a sense for real poetry. Since the poem deals with the complex feelings that arise when one breaks from tradition, this choice bears some significance. Stanza 8 The final stanza is a near repeat of the opening lines. The vowel sounds are the same, almost to the point of creating an internal rhyme. The two stanzas could stand for innocence and experience. He acknowledges that he is not going to be a digger of potatoes or turf like his father or grandfather before him and seems even a little disappointed about it.
Critics generally remarked on Heaney's skillful use of metaphor and language as well as his attention to detail and rural imagery. Digging is one of Seamus Heaney's best known poems and appeared first in the New Statesman magazine in 1964. Between my finger and my thumb The squat pen rests. 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. Firstly, we know that in his last line, poet implies that he will help them, because he will do what his father and grandfather did in another method. Finally, we hear about a trip to the flax-dam that went wrong.