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Follower and Digging

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Follower and Digging Heaney was born on April 13 1939. He was the eldest of nine children. Heaney lived on the family farm, Mossbawn, about thirty miles northwest of Belfast, in County Derry. Heaney is Irish because of this the conflict in Northern Ireland is almost always a backdrop to his work. Here we will analyse 2 poems by Seamus Heaney called "Digging" and "Follower". We will look at the similarities and differences between these poems. In both these poems Heaney puts emphasis on many subjects related to his life such as his childhood memories of growing up in Northern Ireland and the conflict there. His father also features strongly in both poems as a main influence on his life. The poem 'Digging' was written by Seamus in 1964 and was one of the first poems he wrote. ...read more.


In the poem 'Follower' Heaney looks up to his father in a physical sense, because he is so much smaller than his father, but he also looks up to him in a metaphorical sense. This is made clear by the poet's careful choice of words. An example of this is in the lines, 'His eye narrowed and angled at the ground, mapping the furrows exactly.' These words effectively suggest his father's skill and precision. The poem has several developed metaphors, such as the child's following in his father's footsteps and wanting to be like him. The father is sturdy while the child falls - his feet are not big enough for him to be steady on the uneven land. The last line of 'Digging', "The squat pen rests. ...read more.


This shows that the roles have reversed he no longer has to 'follow' his father instead his father follows him now. Heaney uses enjambment to emphasize words this makes us remember them and we are able to reflect on the poem even after we have finished reading it. In a way it feels like Heaney resents his father, the phrase 'he will not go away' makes me feel that he does not want his father with him. In conclusion I think Follower and Digging is some of Heaney's best work, he really reflects on his relationship with his father. I think in a way Heaney feels like his father is not proud of him as he didn't follow his footsteps and because of this he constantly writes about it. This makes me contemplate on my relationship with my father and how this can all change as I grow up. ...read more.

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