Seamus Heaney- Digging

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What is the poem about?
n this poem Heaney sees his father, an old man, digging the flowerbeds. He remembers how his younger, stronger father used to dig in the potato fields when Heaney was a child - and how his grandfather, before that, was an expert turf digger.
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Summarise the overall structure and style of the poem.
Irregular pattern, narrative style, stanzas getting longer= digging deeper, circular=end and beginning, no speech, verses mostly enjambments, takes us there in many ways; phonological, visual etc., unexpected memory; hasn't had time to craft it.
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How is the title ambiguous?
We're not sure if it's referring to a person digging into the earth or someone digging into the past. Metaphorical or literal?
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Summarise features employed in the first two small stanzas.
'Rests'- fits well. 'Snug'- found the right pen, pride in ability. 'Under'- both looking down. 'Rasping'- Rhymes in present tense. 'Spade sinks'- slicing 's' sound. ':'- dramatic pause. Declarative at end.
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Summarise features employed in the third stanza.
'Rhythm'- Repetitive and rhythmic work to show skill. 'He was'- declarative.
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Summarise features employed in the fourth stanza.
'Lug, the shaft'- bottom of knife, specialist lexis. 'We'- team. 'Our hands'- childhood memory, sense of closeness.
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Summarise features employed in the fifth small stanza.
'By God'- colloquial expression, exclamation. 'Just like his old man'- old ways, repetition, simple and loving exclamation of pride.
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Summarise features employed in the sixth stanza.
'Any other man'- boasting about skill, pride. 'Sloppily'- criticizing himself. 'Right away'- straight back to work, dedicated. 'Nicking and slicing'- echoing 'ing' sounds. 'Digging'- repetition
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Summarise features employed in the seventh stanza.
'cOld' 'Of' 'pOtatO'- rounded sounds. 'Squelch'- Dominant sounds, not speech= focused. 'Living roots'- literal and metaphorical (roots in family still alive despite tradition). 'No spade'- disappointment and regret.
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Summarise features employed in the final stanza.
'Finger and thumb'- small size compared to other trade. 'I'll dig with it.'- circular, emphasis, simple and honest statement of fact.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Summarise the overall structure and style of the poem.

Back

Irregular pattern, narrative style, stanzas getting longer= digging deeper, circular=end and beginning, no speech, verses mostly enjambments, takes us there in many ways; phonological, visual etc., unexpected memory; hasn't had time to craft it.

Card 3

Front

How is the title ambiguous?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Summarise features employed in the first two small stanzas.

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Summarise features employed in the third stanza.

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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