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Seamus Heaney

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seamus heaney's poem 'Digging'
Added by: chelsea
this poem is an effective play on 'digging'. digging through the cultural identity shaped by the experiences, values and attitudes of his father and grandfather and the significance they have in shaping his own identity, the persona explores his decision to break his family's tradition and the impact this has on his life. a direct reflection of the decisions which seamus heaney made in his own life, 'digging' is a fairly typical poem of seamus heaney's in which he explores his 'roots' and choices he has made as a part of a generation with new and previously unavailable social dynamics.
Added by: Rabbit Bennett
I think these Heaney poems are to easy to over analyse, you can make every word have thousands of meanings! I think its dull and that we should do better poems for GCSE, more interesting poems so I wouldnt get so bored. It's easy to get distracted (or want to get distracted) in these lessons yet if we did more attention grabbing poems we would get higher marks!? It makes sense and Ill shut up now.

Sorry for the over exaggeration and **** spelling!
Added by: Lucy Jones
These poems are both fascinating and full of energy. Ive never read such simple poetry that i can understand! Its great!!
dig my mum!
Added by: ruby
i do NOT like this poem, its boring and i do NOt want to read it again, but i am going to have to as im doing it for my gcse work. GOD DAMN YOU HEANEY!!!!
Added by: Nicholas Liu
You say you want to study more exciting poems? Bollocks. What you really mean is that you wish you could be tested on Linkin Park lyrics instead.

Kids these days. Honestly.
heaneys poems
Added by: emily
I feel Heaneys poems have diversity. Some of the poems are easy to relate too while others are harder to analyse. He always refers to the importance of family life and it is obvious he holds a great respect for his parents especially his father. This part of his poetry shows the conservative principles he esteems to hold.I think this will relate more to an (I mean in this in the kindest way) older generation with old fashioned ideals and principles. I think it is hard to expect teenagers who are still deciding on the principles they wish to adopt towards life to be able to relate to these poems. I am sitting my IGCSE in one day and it was interesting to get a different perspective on his poems.Thankyou!!
"Digging" The metaphor
Added by: Matthew Dunn
To see how good this poem truly is you have to look beneath the surface, it isn't just about the potatoe famine or digging, it's about how Seamus has to dig through his mind for the lines of his poem in the same way his grandfather had to dig for the "Good Turf". All of this poem brings you back to this metaphor of digging with his pen, it is also a metaphor on a larger scale, for throughout the poem we can see that the as teh generations get younger the job gets less physicall and more skillfull, his grandfather digged for turf, not skillfull but very strenous, his father potatoes, more skillfull, less strenuous as you don't have to go as deep, and the Seamus is a poet, no physicall activity at all but very skillfull, this can be compared to the modern world and the old world, the modern world relies upon knowledge, nnot strength as those with knowledge have power, where-as in past times it relied upon strength. I would suggest to those who say this poem is pointless and just about digging they read it through a few more times.
Added by: JESSICA
i think the poem is a load of crap its boring rubbish not worth readign it mad eme go to sleep.
Heaney and GCSEs
Added by: Diarmuid
You know, there is a lot of anger on this page! Yet the poem is bloody good, whether you realise it or not. They didn't give Heaney a Nobel prize for nothing...

The problem might not be Seamus Heaney. The problem might be that you are forced to do something you wouldn't normally choose to do and THIS annoys you. It's not unusual to find people getting really pissed off solely because they are made to listen to someone they don't like, or read something they can't stand or do some job that drives them mad.

How to deal with it? First, direct your anger at the right target. I am sure that Seamus Heaney would be horrified to hear that his poems were being used to torture teenagers. Remember, he had a pretty difficult life too. Secondly, look for things in the poems that reflect the anger/frustration that you feel. In other words, try and find out if you can make the poem speak to you about your life.

This poem is about a young guy who wants to do something different to what is expected of him. He feels guilty about this but decides, "F*** it, I can't do that! I'll do my own thing. In a way, it's no different to what they want."

A lot of you seem to feel the same way. You don't want to study Seamus Heaney. Why should you? But you're being forced into it. By writing to this site, you're doing the same as him, saying, "F*** it! We have to study these poems but we don't want to. So, we'll do our own thing."

That's one of the good things about this poem. It was written about 30 years ago, about life some fifty years ago and yet, if you look carefully, you can find that it still speaks about the problems that young people face (whether they are from the countryside of Co. Derry or the highrise flats of Birmingham).

Remember, Heaney can be on your side; it's the GCSEs that are sh*te.
Added by: Katie
I'm gonna be really sad now and leave a message!!! I kind of agree with the people that say its boring, but you do have to look beneath the obvious meaning. Also some of Heaney's other poems are fantastic like Mid-Term Break and Storm on the Island. You have to have a heart of stone if Mid-Term Break doesn't touch you in some shape or form!! Good luck with your GCSE's!! xxx

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