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How does Seamus Heaney use language to create a rural Irish scene in 'digging'?

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Introduction

How does Seamus Heaney use language to create a rural Irish scene in 'digging'? Seamus Heaney does a number of things to create the rural Irish scene. Some of the rhyming that he used would not rhyme unless done with an Irish accent, such as sound, ground and down. These are very special northern Irish sounds that have to be used. Also he is dispassionate during the poem like using the word 'rump' instead of a nice word such as lower back. Also the farming aspect creates the typical Irish farmer vision, through generations and generations they are farming. Also he alliterates with 'buried the bright edge deep' using allied consonants. 'Snug as a gun' is assonance because snug and gun are very similar words. Seamus also reminisces about his father and his grandfather. The word lug is a very Irish word and is not commonly used in mainland English. Lug means the straight top part of the spade. ...read more.

Middle

This poem is also about the admiration and respect, which Heaney shows towards his father. The words such as "straining" show that Heaney's father was working very hard, as he did not break very often because he "stooped in rhythm". It is these words, which conjure up such image of Heaney's father never stopping unless he has finished a job, so the images produced, are very effective, because they help us to understand the young boy's admiration for his father. Country life is therefore seen as difficult, but there is also the family element too. Heaney wants to be like his father, but the difference between this poem and "Follower" is that Heaney realises that he has "no spade to follow men like them. The continuation of farming from Heaney's grandfather, to Heaney's father, "the old man could handle a spade. ...read more.

Conclusion

He speaks of himself in a poetic style. He talks about his father in both the past and present tense. For the present it is very poetic and skilled poetry he unromantically describes him as a 'straining rump' but when he is talking of his father in the past tense it is a heroic, tense relationship. It is a vision of a small boy looking up at his father. The phrase 'bury the bright edge deep' is like a scene out a gladiator in a battle. He talks about it very descriptively 'nicking and sticking - going down and down. This poem consists of a free-flowing memory. It begins with him seeing his father in the present digging in flowerbeds, which then flows to the potato digging that, was done when he was a child, which flows to his grandfather digging up peat. This is like a self-justification of himself at the end of the poem, when he metaphorically digs with his pen like his forefathers did with a spade. Yusuf Nurbhai ...read more.

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