How does the poet differ from his family's older generations?

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The greatest difference between the poet and the older generations is that, whereas they made their living through back-breaking toil, the poet makes his by writing about it. He will "dig" with his pen just as surely as they dug with spades. The poet's father, like previous generations before him, is a simple man. He works his fingers to the bone come hail, rain, or shine, cultivating the soil just as his ancestors always did. Like them, the father does not possess the ability to write about his work—to convey the full range of his life experiences in literary form. That's where the poet comes in. With his pen, the instrument he uses for his own work, he can give the reader an insight into the hard, thankless toil of those who work the soil.

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