Give examples of imagery in the poem "Digging" by Seamus Heaney.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

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...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 908 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on