How does the speaker’s “digging” differ from that of his father and grandfather

Digging

by Seamus Heaney

Between my finger and my thumb

The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.

Under my window, a clean rasping

sound When the spade sinks into

gravelly ground: My father, digging.

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.

The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft

Against the inside knee was levered firmly.

He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge

deep to scatter new potatoes that we picked

Loving their cool hardness in our hands.

By God, the old man could handle a spade.

Just like his old man.

My grandfather could cut more turf in a day

Than any other man on Toner’s bog.

Once I carried him milk in a bottle Corked

sloppily with paper. He straightened up

To drink it, then fell to right away

Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods

Over his shoulder, digging down and down

For the good turf. Digging.

The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch

and slap of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge

Through living roots awaken in my head.

But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb. The squat pen rests. I’ll dig with it.

Answer these questions based on the poem above. As a general rule, your original response should be thoughtful, thorough, and well developed. Your original response needs to meet the minimum of 100 words. Please avoid the first person for the post (I, we, us).

1. There are a number of images in the poem, appealing to the senses of sight, hearing, and touch. Find two images, each one from a different sense, and explain the effects they have on the reader’s experience of poem. Be sure to quote the lines from the poem that contain the images in your post.

2. Find two examples of figurative language, quote them, and explain the effect of the language on the feel and meaning of the poem.

3.. How does the speaker’s “digging” differ from that of his father and grandfather? What is digging a metaphor for? How does he feel connected to his father and grandfather?

 

Look for specific word choices/lines in the poem to help you support your answer

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