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Comparing Two Poems - Follower and Digging

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Patrick Weaver 10.3 Poems written by Seamus Heaney Comparing Two Poems Follower and Digging In this poem "Follower" the voice is that of the Son. He is speaking about his father who he looks up to and admires. The poem starts with the lines "My father worked with a horse-plough, his shoulders globed like a full sail strung". The image given to us immediately is that of a large piece of machinery controlled by a large a powerful man. We are told his shoulders are like a "full sail strung", straight away I think of I large yacht sailing at great speed across the world nothing can stop it. I think that the son is trying to portray this; therefore he has used the wording to great affect. The next significant line say's "The horses strained at his clicking tongue". The idea of these great beasts straining with effort to the command of their masters minimal effort command is a great one. ...read more.


"His eye Narrowed and angled at the ground, mapping the furrow exactly." This tells us that he is as careful, skilful, and precise as a cartographer. He is concentrating so hard that he does not notice his son taking quiet notes. The next verse describes the boy's memories of his father "I stumbled in his hobnailed wake, Fell sometimes on the polished sod;" The son describes stumbling in his fathers hobnailed wake, To me this puts an image of big clumpy hobnailed boots creating a wake like a car ferry that stretch's for miles and lasts forever. The idea of the sod being polished is another of the opposite comparisons I spoke about earlier. "Sometimes he rode me on his back dipping and rising to his plod." This although this man was large and strong inside he was docile, the writer shows this in the way he walks (dipping and rising to his PLOD) ...read more.


The boy appreciates his fathers talent as a skill and less of a fine art, as we saw in the 'Follower'. This poem does not really entrap me except the last four lines "But I've no spade to follow men like them. Between my finger and my thumb the squat pen rests. I'll dig with it." What the writer is trying to say here is that he does no have a spade or the skills of the men before him. He has a special talent with his pen; so he's going to do as well with his pen as his father and grandfather have with their spades. The poem I enjoyed reading the most would have to be the Follower. Its complicated yet intelligent comparisons made me become immersed in the poem, forever finding different perspectives to look upon the poem in. The poets attention to detail was amazing describing constantly, I really felt like I could draw a picture of the scene that was taking place each verse. The verses were also structured very well each flowing splendidly into the other making it a pleasure to read. ...read more.

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