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Compare And Contrast Seamus Heaney's Poems 'Digging' And 'Follower'.

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Compare And Contrast Seamus Heaney's Poems 'Digging' And 'Follower' Seamus Heaney's poems, 'Digging' and 'Follower' portray to us the strong relationship between the father and son, as Heaney tends to look up to the elders in his family. Both poems create that pastoral type of atmosphere with the title, 'Digging' suggesting to us digging into the past. 'Follower' on the other hand gives us the image of the child's view of farming of imitating his father's actions. The poems suggest the perfection of Heaney's father at manual labour, introducing someone for Heaney to look up to and admire. The poem 'Follower' illustrates to us the strength and skill, which is processed in Heaney's father. The poem 'Digging' suggests to us the great amount of immense skill needed to master working in the fields of the countryside. Both 'Digging' and 'Follower' tell us stories, which are similar and different in many ways. This poem 'Digging' is quite similar to 'Follower' as it shows how young Heaney looked up to his elders but in this poem he looks up to both his father and grandfather. Heaney sees his grandfather as now old, "straining" to dig "flowerbeds". The poet recalls to himself of his father digging "potato drills" and even earlier his grandfather digging peat. Heaney knows he can't match "men like them with a spade," knowing the pen is mightier for him, and he will dig into the past with it. Heaney also shows the skill and distinction needed in manual labour. ...read more.


Both poems 'Digging' and 'Follower' also use a lot of technical and monosyllabic terms. In 'Digging' the description of digging Heaney gives consists of some technical terms like, "lug, shaft." Some of the monosyllabic terms Heaney uses are, "bog, sods, curt cuts." Some technical terms used in 'Follower' are, "hob-nailed, steel-pointed sock, mapping furrow," and some monosyllabic terms are, "eye, wing, arm." Another thing to notice is that some of the vocabulary used in 'Digging' is also used in 'Follower'. These words from 'Digging', "shaft, sods, straining," are used in 'Follower' as, "shafts, sod, strained." There is technical vocabulary used in both poems but there is more of it in 'Follower'. In 'Follower' there also some specialised terms of from ploughing, "wing, sock, headrig," and some active verbs like, "rolled, stumbled, tripping, yapping." Where as in 'Digging' there aren't any specialised terms or active verbs, which makes it different from the 'Follower'. In 'Digging' there are also a few colloquial phrases like, "By God, the old man could handle a spade." In 'Follower' as well are some colloquial phrases like, "mapping the furrow exactly." There is an extended metaphor of digging and roots, showing how the poet in writing is getting back to his own roots. 'Follower' is basically literal and metaphorical since it is about the son following the father. The son grows up but doesn't really follow the father by working in the fields. There are a variety of metaphors used such as, "globed like a full sail." ...read more.


The use of this word suggests to us how significant Heaney sees this word to be, showing us how big the change has been, between the time he let his father down and when his father let him down. In 'Follower' there is a pause between the 'single pluck' and the explanation of what is being plucked. That helps us at the idea that such a small movement could have such a dramatic effect 'a single pluck // of reins, the sweating team turned around / and back into the land.' His 'eye' at an end of a line helps us feel the intensity and power of the gaze being described. 'Follower' consists of six stanzas each consisting of about four lines. On the other hand 'Digging' consists of nine stanzas of each containing different numbers of lines. 'Follower' for example with a consistent number of lines keeps the poem flowing and helps the rhythm of the poem. 'Digging' on the other hand doesn't has a specific layout which disrupts the flow of the poem slightly, and it also makes it slightly harder to read as well. I can come to the conclusion that both poems clearly show a great deal of similarities and differences, and both well written pieces give us a strong sense of the pastoral side of the world. Not to forget it shows us the strongly linked relationship between the father and the son and they way the son looks up to his father as a role model. Hasan Abdullah English Coursework 1 ...read more.

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