Seamus Heaney - Digging - Poetry Analysis


Digging The collection starts in Digging with an apparent statement of poetic intent; it ends in Personal Helicon with the declaration of a deeper quest: Heaney is reflecting on his albeit revolutionary break from his family’s traditional line of business. The poet is seated behind a window, pen in hand, in the act of composition. He focuses initially on his hand holding his squat pen, the symbolic tool of his trade-to-be. Compared with the elegance of the spades used by his father and grandfather, this pen is unglamorously short and stubby. Heaney lends the pen a small-arms image, warm and reassuring in his grasp, snug as a gun, designed to fire bullets.   The world below Heaney’s window is ‘on screen’. The poet’s attention has been attracted by the sound of digging: a clean rasping sound … into gravelly ground. The man digging is his father, a man feeling his […read more….]