give a summary of the poem Diggingdetailed summary

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stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Digging" is a poem of reminiscing, the poet thinking about the activities of his father and grandfather and comparing their labors with his own. He is also paying homage to their physical abilities and skills in following their occupations.

His father was a potato farmer. The poem describes the steps involved in planting new potatoes, starting with using a foot in a "coarse boot nestled on the lug" to help the shovel dig into the dirt. Next his father "rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep to scatter new potatoes." The poet recognizes the skill involved in the labor - "By God, the old man could handle a spade"

His grandfather cut peat, the compressed remants of decayed plants that could be burned for fuel to heat and cook in Ireland. Again, the labor is described with loving and admiring detail.

My grandfather could cut more turf in a day Than any other man on Tone's bog...Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods Over his shoulder, digging down and down For the good turf.

The poem ends with the poet honoring the memories and labors of these two ancestors but realizing that he doesn't have the tools or the skills to follow in their ways of earning a living. His tool of labor is a "squat pen. I'll dig with it."


alilion | Student

i remember doing this in school..dont have a clue..sorry