Interpretation Of Seamus Heaney 's Digging

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Interpretation of Heaney’s “Digging” Seamus Heaney was the author of many different poems that touched on political concerns and “the ethical commitments of the poet in a world of enduring conflicts” (Norton Anthology 2488). One of his several works that deals with this is titled “Digging.” At first glance readers may not realize the significance of this poem or how to interpret its meaning. When analyzing it further one can realize it shares similar themes and meanings as several of Heaney’s other poetry as well as a shared style, however the tone comes off slightly different than the majority of his work. The way these poetic elements are combined makes for an easily read, yet boldly thoughtful poem. Seamus Heaney’s “Digging” shares the common meaning of a commitment to writing, a narrative style that is predominately free verse, and a tone of acceptance and guilt. Heaney begins the poem by describing his pen being snug between his fingers. In the following stanza he begins to describe the labor being done by his father outside of his window: “Under my window, a clean rasping sound/ When the spade sinks into the gravelly ground:/ My father, digging. I look down” (Heaney 3-5). The six middle stanzas are dedicated to describing the hard work of his father and grandfather as they dig and care for their rural land. These stanzas are bookended with the beginning and ending stanzas that go back to Heaney’s pens being nudged between his fingertips: “Between my finger and my

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