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In this essay I will compare the presentation of family in diggingwith at least one other poem in identity. I have chosen to select Follower.

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Introduction

In this essay I will compare the presentation of family in digging with at least one other poem in identity. I have chosen to select Follower. The title of the poem Digging could refer to turning over soil for planting or harvesting, or digging deeper to uncover some sort of treasure. Alternatively the poet could be thinking of digging up the past, or uncovering some secret hidden in the past. The poem is written from the poet's perspective and there is no doubt that this poem is about a writer for in the opening lines we learn that: 'Between my finger and my thumb The squat pen rests...' The poet is writing in his room which is upstairs and overlooks the garden. His attention is caught by the 'clean rasping sound' of a spade digging into the 'gravelly ground'. The poet looks out and sees his father digging as he has done for twenty years. ...read more.

Middle

The man in the poem feels guilty because he feels that he is letting his predecessors down because he has found a talent in writing. He feels that he does not want to dig for a living In the second stanza the man hears a sound from "under his window." The poet uses onomatopoeia to describe the sound, which gives us a sense of hearing and being able to imagine the "rasping" sound. There is also alliteration with "spade sinks" and "gravely ground." The persona knows what the "rasping" sound is without even looking down, probably because he has got used to hearing it over the years. This is because sound is shown to trigger off memories in this poem In the fourth stanza the persona shows that he has technical expertise by naming the "lug" and the "shaft" which are parts of a spade. This shows that the poet has grown up on the farm and with the equipment. ...read more.

Conclusion

When he was a child he wanted to be like his father who appeared powerful and strong but following him the child: 'Fell sometimes on the polished sod; sometimes he rode me on his back.' This conveys to the reader just how close the relationship was between father and son but it also shows how following him was not always easy on the rough ground. Now he is grown up though it is his father who is the follower and he now keeps stumbling and 'will not go away' Even though the word 'love' is never used in the poem, it is obviously the word that best describes the basis of the relationship existing between Heaney and his father. The poem is very much a personal experience, but it has a much wider significance relating to any kind of hero - worship by a 'follower'. Now that he is himself an adult, Heaney acknowledges that the father he hero worshipped as a young boy has grown old and needs as much tolerance and patience as he himself once showed his son. ...read more.

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