Digging Seamus Heaney

Tracy O'Hagan
Mind Map by Tracy O'Hagan, updated more than 1 year ago
Tracy O'Hagan
Created by Tracy O'Hagan over 6 years ago


Mind Map on Digging Seamus Heaney, created by Tracy O'Hagan on 05/15/2015.

Resource summary

Digging Seamus Heaney
  1. Structure and form
    1. 8 stanzas - varited lengths - between the shortest 2 and the longest 9
      1. The is no pattern to the stanzas perhaps to reflect that there is no pattern to our memories
      2. Rhyming Scheme
        1. Free Verse - Changes throughout the poem, he does this because after the 4th line, he loses the pattern and picks up earthy language to reflect the kind of people his father and grandfather was
        2. 5th Stanza - only two lines to emphasize the admiration Heaney has for his family
        3. Language
          1. Blunt title but the reader realises that the title is to involve the three generations of digging
            1. Metaphor
              1. Of digging and roots, which shows how Heaney's writing is getting back to his roots (his identity, his family
                1. Final Stanza, brings the poem almost to a full circle
                  1. "I'll dig with it", shows that his pen is his powerful tool, also suggests that Heaney wants to go "back to his roots" - to get into his past through his writing
                2. Imagery
                  1. Simile
                    1. (2nd line) "Snug as a gun", the gun represents power, the pen is his powerful weapon and this line also shows how comfortable Heaney is with his pen and writing
                    2. Enjambment
                      1. Between the second and third lines, "I look down/ Till his straining..." Used for a dramatic effect, the pause between the stanzas indicates a gap in time and also allows Heaney to praise his father
                        1. "I look down" Feeling that others may think that Heaney is looking down on his family tradition but the rest of this poem is almost like a response that he is doing the opposite
                      2. Potatoes
                        1. (line 13-14) Imagery of the potatoes in hands - the potatoes symbolizes victory
                      3. Senses
                        1. Penultimate stanza (7th) appeals to our senses, Smell of "potato mould" - Sound of "squelch and slap" (onomatopoeia) - Sight of "curt cuts" senses make the imagery more vivid and shows Heaney's love of farming
                        2. Alliteration
                          1. Used to create the feel and sensation of digging
                            1. Examples - "the spade sinks into gravelly ground"
                        3. Tone
                          1. Regret - as Heaney is not out digging with his family aswell "But I've no spade to follow men like them."
                            1. Conjunction "But" (7th stanza) creates a tone of regret deals with his own decision that he is not going to follow them
                            2. Pride - Heaney proudly displays the talents of his father and grandfather, "By God, the old man could handle a spade."
                              1. Loving tone - Heaney writes this poem as if a gift for his father and grandfather
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