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English 10 close reading paper

English 10 close reading paper - Close Reading Essay...

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Close Reading Essay- Digging by Seamus Heaney Growing up as a country boy, Seamus Heaney had seen the hardship in physical labor. His father owned fifty acres of land in County Derry in Northern Ireland, where he committed his time on that farm. Heaney observed his father at work when he was younger, until the death of both his parents. In 1953 he left the farm with his mother’s family and slowly moved farther and farther away from his birthplace since then. Heaney “digs” up his past as he tries to find his identity. Heaney’s poem, “Digging,” explains the physical work of his father who dug up potatoes and the physical work of his grandfather who dug turfs. The way his poem is structured shows a glimpse of his purpose in writing the poem. His simile, metaphor and symbol compare and contrast the lives of the three men and his usage of assonance, onomatopoeia, and rhymes expresses the difficulties in digging. The eight stanza poem is structured in a specific way to display the goal of Heaney’s search of his past and family traditions. The gap between the first stanza and the second stanza represents the gap in time. It begins in the present time but then transitions to the past as he remembers the memories of his father. Heaney “digs” in his poem, by adding an extra line in each stanza. Stanza one has two lines, stanza two has three lines, stanza three has four lines, and stanza four has five lines; the structure of the poem shows how deep he is digging. Deeply digging into his past is like digging into the ground, trying to find something. He digs up his past, his father digs up potatoes, and his grandfather digs up turfs. The first four stanzas represent Heaney “digging” into his past until it reaches the time of his grandfather. The fifth stanza is another couplet which transitions from the memory of his father to the memory of his grandfather. Stanza seven ends with Heaney not being able to compare himself to his father and grandfather which flows to stanza eight, leading the reader back to the present. Seeing the
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appearance of the poem gives a reader a preview of the poem and it goes more in depths through the author’s simile, metaphor, and symbol.
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