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At a Potato Digging by Seamus Heaney describes the simple process of potato digging and the suffering of the people due to the contamination of the crop.

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Introduction

At a Potato Digging by Seamus Heaney describes the simple process of potato digging and the suffering of the people due to the contamination of the crop. Through this Heaney is able to illustrate the dependence of the people upon the potato crop and how it serves to be both a life giving and life-taking element. By effective usage of lexis, figurative language, and structure the poem explores the endless quality and extremity of this dependence. Stanza five continues to look at the life-giving element of the poem, which over casts the little bit of life giving element, and the use of figurative language is continued. ...read more.

Middle

The next line "Native to the ..." These next lines show the potato in its natural surroundings with the clump of mud or clay that has stuck to it once it has been dug up. "...Knobbed and slit-eyed Tubers seem the petrified hearts if drills. Split by the spade they show white as cream" The tubers are the under ground stems if the potato plant, these will have had to be chopped off before the potato is harvested. "Cream" emphasises the potential the newly grow potato now has, and cream is reminiscent of wealth and good life. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another good use of the senses is "The rough bark of humans erupts" Heaney gives the potato life by giving it human characteristics. This stanza develops more into the final part of the potato coming out of the ground, "(a clean birth)" the use of the brackets around the words makes the words stand out more, but gives the impression that the poet didn't think it important enough to fully include them. "To be piled in pits, live skulls, blind-eyed." The alliteration of the two 'p' sounds gives a sharp bullet like tone. At a Potato Digging. Alistair Phillips 11PWO Page - 1 - ...read more.

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