In Seamus Heaney's poem "Digging," the speaker describes his ancestors' digging using imagery and considers his own writing as his form of "digging."
The speaker begins by referencing a more figurative form of digging, as his "squat pen rests" between his fingers, "snug as a gun." This short stanza includes some imagery, as we can picture the speaker holding his pen. The simile "snug as a gun" also conveys how tightly he is holding the pen and how it seems to fit there.
Most of the imagery, however, is in the stanzas of the poem where the speaker describes his father and grandfather literally digging. Stanzas three and four are heavy on imagery:
Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds
Bends low, comes up twenty years away
Stooping in rhythm through potato drills
Where he was digging.
The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked,
Loving their cool hardness in our...
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