This poem shows how he fought and struggled with his own emotions after blindness to continue writing. In previous generations, men had to dig for both food and fuel. Poppies are also traditionally associated with remembrance, illustrating that the child will live on in his family's memories. In the opening lines of the poem human emotions are beautifully portrayed- 'When you have nothing more to say', suggesting a sense of grief, joy, or even meaninglessness of life which leads to this speechlessness. The persona holds his mothers hand while he waits for the ambulance to arrive.
Seamus Heaney and Grace Nichols both had experiences of the power of Nature. Between my finger and my thumb The squat pen rests. In order to begin to justify his identity, he draws upon the personal memories discussed above. Heaney plays with the language throughout his poem by using images that appeal to our sense. Stanza 3 Another increase in lineation, this time four lines, and not a hint of rhyme this time. Under my window, a clean rasping sound When the spade sinks into gravelly ground: My father, digging. There's a kind of rough pride in the way the speaker boasts about their ability.
Throughout the poem Seamus Heaney uses shifts in the tense to convey his memories as well as his determination for the future. Such as 'rasping' and 'gravelly', this is images of the act of digging. Stanza 1 The first stanza contains only two lines. Similarly, the poet uses simile while comparing 'waterlogged trunks with pulp'. His father is digging potato field with the help of spades.
Using realistic aspects of life and the world, Heaney is able to express his feelings through his poetry. Not a chore, he wants to do it, enjoyment. The mood of the poem at first is soleme and grave. The image continues as the narrator travels back to memories of his grandfather, who used his tools for one purpose, cutting peat. In the third stanza, Heaney describes what he sees looking out his window and down into the garden where his father is working. Here, the reader gets a glimpse into the setting of the poem.
This foreshadows what is to come. This juxtaposition emphasizes the tragedy of the death. It is clear that Heaney has fond memories of this and even helped out as a child by picking potatoes that his father dug up lines 13-14 and bringing his grandfather milk while he worked line 19. The reader is taken into the mind of the speaker who is watching out the window as his father digs the garden. And, now the son, and grandson, does not plow the earth; he writes. His work over nearly half a century has lost none of its accessibility, erudition and vitality.
He tries to justify himself using this poem by saying that poetry is a form of digging, metaphorically. Consequently, the readers observe that the poet deals with some common themes like self-identity, human roots, role reversal and progression and respect for hard labor in the majority. However, it also tragically echoes the events of the car accident which led to the child's death. During the 20th century, Ireland, and Northern Ireland in particular, went through a period of religious and political turmoil between the Catholics and the Protestants and the Nationalists and the Unionists Jackson. It means the survival of Irish culture is a long span of time.
In the case of a poet as accomplished, complex and focused as Heaney, the rewards for persevering are at once enriching, fortifying and hugely pleasurable. Under my window, a clean rasping sound When the spade sinks into gravelly ground: My father, digging. But note the trochees 2nd line, 2nd and 3rd feet which together with the semi-colon pauses the reader and places stress on pen and snug. Sorry, your browser is not supported. There are 44 titles including 5 sequences — 68 poems in all. His ancestors are all farmers. His poems have the ability to reflect complex issues and themes, like politics, heritage, and conflict.
Use of imagery is one of the great stylistic aspects of this poem. The digger will never dig coal here. He must dig into his mind. By becoming a writer, the narrator has broken the mold of his family. Heaney compares his pen to a defence with which to defend himself from criticism about the choice and type of his career. The speaker listens to the rhythm of the sound produced by the digging of his father and grandfather.