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Summary of Digging

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Introduction

The poem 'Digging' was written by Seamus Heany five years before the outbreak of violence in Northern Ireland, however, everyone was aware of the conflict that would occur. It was written in 1964 and it was the first poem where he felt he had really "let down a shaft into his real life". Heany starts by saying, "the squat pen rests, snug as a gun." He treats the pen as his weapon, like a gun and he uses a very confident tone. ...read more.

Middle

He 's proud of them and knew their dedication to their job. He has several options of his career to choose from and he wasn't sure what he should choose. In the poem, Heany makes use of words to describe sights, smells, touch and hearing. He describes what he sees in great detail. "Nicking and slicing" was used to describe the sound of the sods being heaved up and down. ...read more.

Conclusion

He chooses to reject family tradition, saying that he doesn't have the same skills as his forbears but he was disappointed in himself. At the end of the poem, he decides that he would dig with his pen. The poem returns to the opening and the pen becomes am implement that is equivalent to the spade of his father and grandfather. The words "I'll dig with it," disturbs "snug as a gun". His determination at the end replaces his boyish boasting "snug as a gun". It seems as if he had suddenly changed from being a boy to being a man. ...read more.

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