The second stanza, on thefirst line reads, “under my window, a clean rasping sound”, theword `rasping` is onomatopoeic and includes the reader, enhancesthere ability to imagine the scene.
The next line, Heaney also usesalliteration to describe his dad digging and onomatopoeia to describework on the farm, “When the spade sinks into gravely ground. Buriedthe bright edge deep,” here Seamus Heaney has used our old friendthe poetical device alliteration to create in the reader’s mind avivid picture of the noises you would hear if you happened to beliving on or visiting a farm. The ‘G’ sound from: gravely, groundconvey in the reader’s mind the sense of the gravely ground beingdug into. On the third stanza, Heaney writes on the first line,”Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds”, where the word`straining` suggests that he is old and hard at work. Line two says,”Bends low, comes up twenty years away”, on the end of that lineit tells the reader that digging has been his life, and that he hasbeen doing it for twenty years. Third line reads, “stooping inrhythm through potato drills”, the word `stooping` suggests that heis quite old. The next stanza, first line, “The coarseboot nestled on the lug, the shaft”, the word `nestled` shows ushow easily digging was for his father and the next few lines read,”Against the inside knee was levered firmly. He rooted out talltops, buried the bright edge deep, to scatter potatoes that wepicked, loving their hardness in our hands”.
That whole stanzaenables the reader to imagine the scene more vividly, due to thedetailed step-by-step instructions.Here in this poem SeamusHeaney does not use a uniform structure and there is no rhyme. Likein, “Mid-term break,” Heaney has used colloquial terms to createa conversational tone, “By god, the old man could handle a spade.Just like his old man.
” The language and structure of this poemcould represent Heaney’s random thoughts. It’s as through he iscasually talking to his friend expressing his pride in the skill ofhis father as a farmer. Next stanza, first twolines, “My grandfather cut more in a turf in a day, than any otherman on Toner’s bog”, those first couple of lines have a definitechange of tone, which suggests that now he is proud and sees diggingas impressive-family tradition. The final three lines of that stanzasay, “Once I carried him milk in a bottle, corked sloppily withpaper. He straightened up, to drink it, then fell to right away”,show the skill and admiration for the grandfather, also he neverstopping and always digging, which is very important to him.Stanzaseven, begins, “Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods”, whichcontains an abundance of verbs there, which that give depth to hiswork and show how busy he was.
The next two lines, “Over hisshoulder, going down and down, for the good turf. Digging”. Againthat underlines the fact that digging is his life.In stanza eight, the firstline, “The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap”,that opening lines contains onomatopoeic words; squelch and slap.Second line, “Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge”, continueswith onomatopoeias `squelch`, `slap` and `soggy` and together withthose words the reader can imagine the scene precisely. The final twolines, “Through living roots awaken in my head. But I’ve no spadeto follow men like them”, show how he feels that he cannot dig anddoes not feel he can follow in their footsteps.
Does he not have theability and strength of his father and grandfather?At the end of the poem we arereminded that Seamus Heaney fells more comfortable with his pen than a spade, “Between my figureand my thumb, The squat pen rests. I’ll dig with it.”The structure ofthe Seamus Heany poem, “Digging” is very interesting andintriguing because it has no uniformed structure. Theverses or stanzas are irregular with some being short two line versesor stanzas and others beinglonger. Heany uses short verses or stanzas to summarise simple buteffective points, and longer verses orstanzas to go into more detail about specific people, e.g. his fatherand grandfather.The theme of this poem isbased on the family, skills, the man’s world, admiration as well asidentity.
Skills are based on what the poet explains whereby thefather and the grandfather are fathers. He goes further to say thathe does not fancy writing but he admires the hard work his fatherportrays. This therefore leads to the other theme being portrayed.The whole poem talks about the male gender that is the poet,grandfather and the father. This therefore is explaining how theman’s world is and the way they have to toil to support the family.The family entity is also seen as the poet is speaking about peoplehe is related to.