At a Potato Digging
- In this poem Heaney looks at man's relationship with the land - the cultivation of the potato is a way into Ireland's social history.
- First Section (Stanzas 1-4) - Describes a potato digging in the 1960's
- Second Section (Stanzas 5-6) - Looks closely at the potato
- Third Section (Stanzas 7-10) - Examines the Irish potato famine
- Fourth Section (Stanzas 11-12) - Describes a potato digging in the 1960's
- 'Spins up a dark shower of roots and mould' - Vivid image of the power of the machine over the land, Mans power over nature?
- 'Swarm' - presents the vast number of workers involved.
- 'Stand/Tall' - Enjambment at this and other points suggests the unending nature of work.
- 'attacking' - the labour is again referred to in terms of a battle
- 'Tall for a moment' - proud for a moment and enjoying a short break
- 'soon stumble back' - the respite is brief and they 'stumble' back to work, emphasizing the exhausting…
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