Digging Essay

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Nidhi Ranjalkar
English 10 Block E Ms. Wilkins 30/08/2012 DIGGING

The poem ‘digging’ is the first in poet Seamus Heaney’s collection ‘Death of a Naturalist’ (1966). This poem has a free structure, which allows the poet to express his feelings of pride and the value of his as well as his ancestors’ work. The poet may not be following his father and grandfather’s footsteps in the area of work which is potato farming but that doesn’t mean he does not respect, value and take pride in the work that they did. This poem clearly reflects the complex feelings of a son who has chosen to break away from the family tradition and forge a new path for himself.

The author talks about the family’s potato farm. Through this poem he shows respect and pride towards their work. He succeeds by painting a scene using different types of imagery. He uses visual, auditory, olfactory and tactile imageries to paint a picture. This technique makes readers feel present as if they had just stepped into the moist potato field.

The title ‘Digging’ refers to the act of hard labour. The reader can immediately picture a scene of a man hard at work digging the ground. Seamus Heaney is not a farmer. He does not dig the ground for potatoes nor does he work in the hot fields every day. He is an author who uses his pen to dig deep into his surroundings, deep into the emotions and convey them through his writing. Heaney starts off...
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