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How is the relationship of the poet to the past explored in Digging(TM) and either Our History(TM) or Piano and Drums(TM)?

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Introduction

How is the relationship of the poet to the past explored in 'Digging' and either 'Our History' or 'Piano and Drums'? The relationship of the poet to the past is explored in 'Digging' and 'Piano and Drums' through themes of the poet's heritage and the change that has occurred between the past and the present. However, 'Piano and Drums' and 'Digging' differ in the way they describe their connection with the past. For example, in 'Piano and Drums', Okara draws a parallel between how his life in the African culture was disturbed by Western invasion and how drums reminds him of his African past whereas the piano only makes him feel pain. On the other hand, in 'Digging', Seamus Heaney uses fewer metaphors and instead uses specific diction, such as single syllable words, to convey his attachment to the past. ...read more.

Middle

Heaney also portrays a strong attachment to digging for potatoes and turf. He did this by using words such as "nestled" and "loving" when describing digging and the potatoes. Both of these words suggest that the father is comfortable with digging and he is at home when his foot is on the "lug". Also, through out the poem, Heaney uses one syllable words such as "lug", "gun" and "sods". This recreates the rhythm of digging which is monosyllabic in its self. It could also be in reference to the fact that digging is a very simple action so simple words can be used to describe it. Throughout 'Piano and Drums' the relationship of the poet to the past is explored through how he feels about African and western music. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also, while Okara is describing the piano music he uses musical words; however, he uses them in such a way that it does not make sense. This suggests that he can make sense of them in his culture because drumbeats, to him, are simple yet more symbolic. In that same stanza Okara uses the word 'complex' twice suggesting that the past is simpler, like a drumbeat. However, also in that stanza are very forceful words such as 'coaxing' and 'daggerpoint'. This suggests that the poet feels threatened by the invasion. In conclusion, Digging is more like a memory than Piano and Drums. For example the rhyme is very structured at the beginning of digging but becomes more relaxed as the memory takes over and the sounds of the words become more important. Therefore, digging is more like memory; you remember things in as unpredictable way so the structure is unpredictable. Also, Okara uses music to explore his past where as Heaney writes more literally. ...read more.

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