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In the poem Digging, Seamus Heaney expresses regret that he will not follow in his father, and grandfathers footsteps

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Anoush Longerstaey 11 IB 11.12.2011 ?Digging? Commentary What determines the path a person chooses in life? In the poem ?Digging?, Seamus Heaney expresses regret that he will not follow in his father, and grandfather?s footsteps in becoming a laborer, but instead would rather further his skills in writing. Heaney transmits this message through a variety of literary techniques. The central literary feature is the number of sensory images Heaney uses in order to convey all the aspects of the scene, which contribute to the reader?s understanding of the situation. Heaney also uses sound effects, unique structure, and shifts in verb tense to further communicate his message. ?Digging? makes us consider the path we?ve chosen in life, and makes us understand that it?s okay to choose something different as long as it?s something we?re passionate about. ...read more.


On line 10, ?coarse boot? provides something the reader can touch. Again, on line 14, we can feel the solidity and freshness of the potatoes: ?their cool hardness in our hands.? Heaney allows us to feel exactly what he felt and makes us feel like we?re really there. Finally, the last tactile image he uses is on line 26, ?Of soggy peat?, which produces a tingly feeling on your hands as if they were moist because of the peat. In order to complete our experience when reading this poem, Heaney also uses olfactory imagery. The ?rasping sound? of the spade in the ground adds to the visual imagery because it provides two aspects of imagery to the scene, which creates a very clear picture in the reader?s mind. ...read more.


He starts out by talking about himself, then switches to his memory of his father digging which is where Heaney switches to the past. Halfway through the poem, he moves from his father, to his grandfather, and his skill at digging. Finally, in the last stanza, he switches back to the present, and brings the focus back to him and his career choice. ?Digging? is full of literary techniques, such as vivid imagery, specific sound effects, and exclusive structure, in order to emphasize the reasons for the poet?s path in life. Throughout the poem, Heaney realizes that his calling and skill in life is writing and not digging. He writes this poem in order to show off his skill and prove talent. This is truly shown in the last stanza when he presents the reader with ?tool? which is his pen. Heaney will continue his work, digging apart his vivid memories through his expressive writing. ...read more.

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