Review on "Digging"

631 Words3 Pages
In this poem ‘Digging’ by Seamus Heaney, it is about a young man, probably the poet himself, as he makes a decision about his future, whether he should be a digger, which appears to be his family’s traditional job, or continue his current profession of being a writer. However, in the first and last stanzas of the poem, it is clear that the poet has already chosen his job. In the first stanza, the first two lines of the poem are used to demonstrate that the poet, Heaney, has decided to choose his own career path, as a writer. It is clear that the poet feels that he is very skilled with a pen and demonstrates this in the opening stanza by using a rhyming simile, by comparing the pen to a snug-fitting gun, or his “weapon of choice”. I believe that the difference of the first and last line from the rest of the poem in terms of structure, is to emphasize the difference that the poet feels from the rest of his family. In the next two stanzas, writing is compared to digging in terms of action and inaction. Firstly, the pen is described to be at rest and not moving, a contrast to his father’s digging work outside that was taking place at that time. Also, we can see from the poem that the father is working away and “straining” whereas the poet is not moving or working. While the digger’s job is physical, the poet’s task is observational. The poet looks, but he also “looks down.” In this way, the speaker suggests a sort of progression from his father to himself, meaning that as a poet rather than a digger, the speaker is superior to his father. In the fourth stanza, through the way that imagery is used to describe the father hard at work, we are able to infer that the poet feels that his father’s work is, in its own way, elegant. Such phrases are “levered firmly” and “bright, deep edge”. These phrases reinforce the feeling from the poet about his father’s pride in his
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