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Follower and Digging - Seamus Heaney.

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Introduction

Follower and Digging Seamus Heaney There are many similarities between the two poems. First of all, both poems are written in the same tone. Heaney talks about his father and grandfather with a great deal of admiration and pride. In 'Follower' he calls his father 'An expert' and tells how he used to imitate his father, and wished to grow up to be just like him. In 'Digging' Heaney compliments his father and grandfather with; 'By God, the old man could handle a spade. Just like his old man.' He respects them, looks up to them and wants to follow in their footsteps. Both poems are set in a rural background and talk about working on the land and doing manual work. ...read more.

Middle

He is now looking out for his father. This poem is also about the relationships between generations and the fondness they have for each other. In 'Follower', Heaney uses different poetic devices such as onomatopoeia as he describes his father's 'clicking' tongue. This makes the reader imagine that they can really hear the clicking sound. He also uses similes when he says 'His shoulders globed like a full sail strung', which implies his father's back is broad and muscular. The poet mentions 'he rode me on his back', which suggests his closeness to his father and being at one with him. When Heaney talks about 'the sod rolled over without breaking' you can almost visualise the action. ...read more.

Conclusion

He is digging into the past with his pen and digging into the future. 'Digging' starts with Heaney telling us that he feels comfortable with a pen. He goes on to talk about his father with pride and seems unsure of himself. The poet's tone seems more confident towards the end of the poem as if remembering the memories have given him courage to dig with his pen. Heaney uses alliteration to help the reader visualise a movement or hear a sound, for example 'gravely ground' and 'curt cuts'. He also uses onomatopoeia which has a similar effect on the reader when he says 'squelch' and 'slap'. Metaphors are used, such as 'bends low, comes up twenty years away' to describe his father and they create a vivid picture. Kay Wilson 22-1-2004 ...read more.

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