Analysis of Seamus Heaneys Poetry in the Local and the Global

Topics: Brussels sprout, Time, Brussels Pages: 4 (1284 words) Published: March 18, 2011
How many times has your life been put in perspective? When you were little and didn’t eat all your dinner, were you confronted by the harsh reality of your mother saying “there are children in Africa starving, and they would give anything for that brussel sprout”. Even after saying, “how about you mail it to them”, did you feel a little guilty? Did you ever think that your suffering was a universal paradigme? Did you ever fully realise that maybe some kid on earth would kill for that brussel sprout and that your life locally may have had a global impact on theirs? This relationship between the local and global is illustrated in Andrew Stantons Wall-E, and Heaneys poems Funeral Rights, Personal Helicon and Digging.

Digging at first glance seems like a traditionally Irish poem, from Heaneys local area. It’s rich sensory imagery of the “cool hardness” of the potatoes, and the “squelch and slap of soggy peat” give it a distinctive Irish context. His father and grandfather were both diggers, in fact extremely good diggers which is emphasised in the line “my grandfather could cut more turf in a day than any other man on Toners bog” Heaney respects this, his tone full of pride when he speaks of his father and grandfather. However the traditional meta narrative of continuing with the family tradition is abandoned by Heaney in this poem, he would rather dig with his pen. This metaphor illustrates that Heaney will make a living from his writing “digging” to find truth. ”Between my finger and thumb the squat pen rests, I’ll dig with it”. The global aspect in this poem is refected in the sense that, in modern times family heritage has been abandoned to pusue other dreams, which is a global paradigme. The title itself is a metaphor for reminicance, “digging”, or delving into the past. This is also conveyed in the lines “through living roots awaken in my head”. His “roots” are metaphor for his past, his family. He sees how his heritage has affected him and how it has...
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