Digging Questions and Answers
by Seamus Heaney

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What are examples of figurative language in Digging by Seamus Heaney?

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Ordinary prose speech uses the grammatical structure of sentences as an organizing principle. Figures of speech depart from ordinary language either by using organizing principles (such as sound) in addition to grammatical structure or by using words to mean in unusual ways. 

Although Seamus Heaney's "Digging" is written in free verse and does not have a regular rhyme scheme, it does use occasional rhymes such as "sound-ground".

Another figure of speech used in the poem is assonance, which is repetition of vowel sounds. This can be seen in the pair "thumb - gun". 

Alliteration, or repetition of consonants or consonant groups is used in phrases such as "tall tops" and "gravelly ground". 

The poem as a whole is an extended metaphor, comparing the digging of his ancestors using a spade as a tool to dig into the earth and his own writing, which employs a pen as a tool. 

 

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Figurative language allows a writer or poet to create visual images of events, occurrences, objects, people and so on in order...

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