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Seamus Heaney

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Added by: Shanti
This was the first Seamus Heaney poem that I read when I was 16 years old. I am 33 now and I have to say he was my major inspiration to become a writer. I have written poetry, journalism articles, novels and screenplays ... and always I come back to Seamus Heaney. Why? Because of the way he writes with concrete simplicity. Everything within the emotional landscape of his subject matter is beautifully described. The subtext in all of his poetry is incredible. He is a true inspiration.
Seamus Heany
Added by: Francy
Seamus Heany is my idol, he is so great, come on people, Seamus Heany was a professor at Harvard University in the US. So all you who think Heany's poems are crap, you are wrong, absolutely wrong.
what happens is that you do not know how to analyze those poems, which is a very different thing.

Crowd of mediocres!!
Added by: Sorcha
I am a 17 year old girl doing Seamus Heany for my HSC in Australia, and even being so far away from Ireland (which is actually my home country) has not watered down my passion for his poetry. I have recently read some of the ridiculous comments made by several other students studying this man, and I have to ask where their sense of pride and culture has gone? You would have to be a little lacking in the brain to think Heany writes only about potatoes! Have you read through the poem with an open mind? What about 'snug as a gun'? Doesn't that give you an idea that there is a lot more in the words of this deep and meaningful writer. So instead of putting down an entity that you obviously don't understand. why not try and appreciate it for its levels, and its archaic mentioning of nature. LET GO OF YOUR PREDETERMINED IDEAS OF WHAT IS COOL AND TAKE IN THE POETRY.

boring but necessary
Added by: Nikolas @ L.O.S
I believe that this is a fundamentally important poem as it talks about the issues of the irish culture and how it is progressing from the rural way of life to Healey's more modern generation who instead soend their time digging through literature and into the human psyche. Its mundane on the surface but when one looks into it...its great!
Added by: be yung
I really enjoy all of the "It's good, no it's bad, no it's good" comments up to a certain point. I like these poetry panels because they normally give me more insight into poems. I am kind of wishing that all of the comments of "it sucks" or "it's inspirational" had some evidence and substance behind them. Also, I believe the comment on Heaney being a Harvard professor, so his poems aren't crap would be a good definition of a fallacy. (I don't mean to be I know all like, but just b/c a guy is at Harvard doesn't mean he can slap some great poetry down.)

I, myself, liked this poem for its double meaning of digging. Digging is associated with discovery (like X marks the spot). With the pen, the narrator searches for his place and honor, which for my argument is the treasure. His father and grandfather dug and found their "treasures" before him, for they were great men on the field. The narrator carries that honor on own way as he digs his own path in his and discovers his place.
Added by: Noni
I agree with Shanti's beautiful analysis. I would also like people to consider the phrase "snug as a gun" - the destructive aspect of digging into one's personal history.

Also, I feel it is no coincidence that the negative opinions expressed about this poem are exceedingly ill-written, almost illiterate.
Added by: James
Wow. These comments (well, some of them) have really given me a better perspective on Heaney's work. As a Year 12 Student (I'm Australian), I started off treating these poems as just another uninteresting stage in school. But seeing the effects they've had on various people makes me want to look at them a little closer. And I understand the poem a lot better too.
sarah mugullen
Added by: Hannah
this comment is for sarah mugullen.
obviuosly you have allot of time on your hands to actualy want to go on the internet find a comment page and write insults down. sure its ok to write contructive critasisme but what you did was childish.
point one* you said that it was "lame" and "sad" ok you even said your self your 54, those are the words of a 12 year boy.
point two* you said that it was a "sad exuse for poetry" well excuse me but i would like to see you write poems good enough to be published in books.
point three*"who cares about ireland and potato famine-not me" oh sorry didnt anybody tell you, the world dosnt revolve around you anymore! Heaney wrote about the bloody thing he obviously cares about it, do you think he cares what your silly individual thought on it is?
point four* "this is averything less than exceptionalto my tast" ok there are several things about that statemant that i dont like 1 it dosnt even make sence 2 going back a bit i would like to see you do better and three i dont thaink anyone rely cares!
point five*" do not read this if you have any taste what so ever" well its a bit more than obvious that you dont have any taste what so ever as you dislike this poem so much.
point six* nobody forced you to read this poem.
point seven* heaney wrote thease poems because thats what he rely feals, he put his fealings into words to share with everybody which isnt always easy so leave heaney alone.
point 8* i know i know i keep on saying i dont see you with any published poems so before you say the same thing to me i do have a poem published
point nine* im 14 years old! how is it that i can see how great this poem is and you cant.
lots of love Hannah
lame excuse for criticism
Added by: Jon
Of all the superlative properties of Heaney's poetry, perhaps nothing should flatter him more than the dimwitted criticism - "who cares about Ireland"? Well, I'll start you off - Jonathan Swift, W.B. Yeats, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, G.B. Shaw, Sean O'Casey, Patrick Kavanagh, C.S. Lewis, William Trevor...oh, and Seamus Heaney - the man around whom there is virtual critical consensus that names him the greatest living poet of the English language. It's an opinion that verges on fact, and wondering "who cares about Ireland" hardly amounts to potent contrarianism. As an Irishman and an attempting poet, I'd advise the 'critic' who instructed Heaney to "put the pen down" to put the poetry down - you're lost.
Added by: rodderz
I have already analysed this poem as coursework and now have to compare it to Heaney's other poem "follower". I am only 14 but i find these poems very easy to understand and analyse. "Digging" is all about how heaney couldnt use nature to find his identity because he can't use a spade nor can he farm, so he uses his pen and english tallents to find his indetity and the roots of his life. If you are writing about this poem, talk about the central extended metaphor od digging-from the title and the roots, which is showing how heaney is getting back to his own roots.
I think this is a great poem and really good to write about for gcse, at least i have a poem i understand. If you are comparing poems of Heaney's compare digging and follower, great together!

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