• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Digging Commentary

Extracts from this document...


Digging Commentary The poem "Digging" by Seamus Heaney has the author reflecting about his father and grand-father's careers and the effect it had on him, throughout his life. While the poem progresses, Heaney goes further back into his memories to remember the manual labor his ancestors did by digging. Seamus Heaney continues the family trade by using his writing to "dig" like his father and grand-father before him. In the first two stanzas of the poem, Seamus Heaney pauses while he we writes, to observe his father digging. Heaney "rests" the "pen" and notices "under" his "window" his "father, digging". ...read more.


The digging his ancestors is a constant reminder for Heaney, as he pauses to "look down" to his "father, digging". Heaney is not necessarily interested in the manual labor his fore-fathers did, dut does show respect for their hard work ethic. In the middle of the poem Heaney shows the utmost respect for his ancestors, particularly his grandfather, who he believes his actions "slicing neatly" are more talented then what Heaney does "sloppily with paper". We also encounter the fact in this paragraph that the digging being completed changes with each generation, his grand-father dug for "good turf", and his father dug for "potatoes", and after he retired, he dug for his "garden". ...read more.


If the justification fits, then the family trade of digging progresses one more generation while the grand-father uses a spade to cut turf for heat and energy, the father also using a spade to cut potatoes for food, and the son, using a pen to dig for literary significance. Seamus Heaney's "Digging" is about the generational shift that changes the work his family does, while his father and grand-father both used spades as their tool to dig into the earth, Seamus Heaney uses a pen as his tool to dig into his pieces of literature. Therefore, Seamus Heaney continues the family trade by using his writing to "dig" like his father and grand-father before him. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Casualty is an elegy written by Irish poet and writer Seamus Heaney. It is ...

    or to the 'lore of the horse and cart', presumably referring to manual labour; or, the word itself placed at the end of the stanza and left to linger in the reader's mind, the 'Provisionals'-a reference the Provisional Irish Republican Army (whose campaign against the partition of Ireland involved violence in itself), and, more extensively, the highly political Troubles themselves.

  2. How to write a commentary

    To illustrate the difference quickly ask students to write down three or four words that they associate with "milk". Tell them not to think, just jot down words as they come into their head. As each student tells the class their words write them on the board.

  1. Hamlet commentary

    fact that Claudius married Gertrude and possesses a cheerful and content behaviour angers Hamlet. He cannot substitute Claudius at the same position where Elder Hamlet was and this can be clearly seen in the lines "So excellent a King; that was to this Hyperion to a satyr".

  2. Commentary on Twice Shy by Seamus Heaney

    and they know it, thus elevating a peculiar sense of stage fright and expectation. Water imagery is another subtle device that Heaney uses to great effect in this poem.

  1. Poetry commentary on Digging by Seamus Heaney

    The poet comes to realize that he may not ever be as skilled as the men in his family setting an example to him by working hard and labouring physically, but that he has other precious skills like writing, with which he can earn an honest living and recreate his forbearers? lifestyles.

  2. In the poem Digging, Seamus Heaney expresses regret that he will not follow in ...

    However this rhyming scheme is only in the beginning of the poem because as the poem progresses, so does this scheme, and becomes less and less important to the message of the poem. In addition, the poet uses alliterations to add effect to the poem and keep it flowing while adding flair.

  1. Seamus Heaney's "From the Frontier of Writing" Commentary

    This is more magnified than in the first section of the poem because, prior to this, he has been able to voice his own opinions and be spoken to directly; now, he is an object of criticism and has no voice in defending his own work.

  2. Frankenstein Commentary Essay

    the crimes they were committing upon others, but were so consumed with their pursuit they did not care about the effects of their actions. However, near the end of the story the Monster feels remorse of what he has done, whereas Victor did not.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work