Fahad Hameed

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25 thoughts on “Seamus Heaney Reads His Poem, ‘Digging’

  • August 30, 2017 at 12:07 pm
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    thought it was good until i found out it was uploaded by wall street journal

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  • August 30, 2017 at 12:07 pm
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    Digging

    Seamus Heaney

    Between my finger and my thumb   
    The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.

    Under my window, a clean rasping sound   
    When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:   
    My father, digging. I look down

    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 hands.

    By God, the old man could handle a spade.   
    Just like his old man.

    My grandfather cut more turf in a day
    Than any other man on Toner’s bog.
    Once I carried him milk in a bottle
    Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
    To drink it, then fell to right away
    Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
    Over his shoulder, going down and down
    For the good turf. Digging.

    The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
    Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
    Through living roots awaken in my head.
    But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.

    Between my finger and my thumb
    The squat pen rests.
    I’ll dig with it.

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  • August 30, 2017 at 12:07 pm
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    good man seamus .rest in peace .another piece of Ireland ,gone , not forgotten

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  • August 30, 2017 at 12:07 pm
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    I recently attempted to dig a hole in the garden with my pen and it never worked, I had to use a spade, because a pen is only good for writing with. You know what, I actually think it's not a very good metaphor. A spade is nothing like a pen.

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  • August 30, 2017 at 12:07 pm
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    Heaney is gone and we grieve, who now to pick up the squat pen and dig?

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  • August 30, 2017 at 12:07 pm
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    A wonderful exponent of rural imagery who paints vivid pictures for anyone who has experienced life in the Irish countryside. As we say in Irish, ní fheicfimid a leithéid arís – we will never see his equal again. He is gone, and the mould is broken.

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  • August 30, 2017 at 12:07 pm
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    A wonderful poet who's words have brought comfort and joy to many. RIP Seamus Heaney.

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  • August 30, 2017 at 12:07 pm
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    His voice reminds me of Frank McCourt. Both remind me of Dear Old Dad. Love, Robert.

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  • August 30, 2017 at 12:07 pm
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    Anyone doubt him as a poet– read "Station Island." Or his Nobel address. Or his translation of Sophocles' "Philoctetes."

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  • August 30, 2017 at 12:07 pm
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    When he signed my book in Louisville, KY, 1994, I said, "Mr. Heaney, I know you've studied many languages, and I'm about to go off far from home to study languages. Got any advice?" He said: "I don't know many languages, Dan [I had introduced myself, and he used my name, because he was kind] I just have my Latin and Greek from school." He handed back the book, leaned in: "I should have learned some Italian for that Dante translation– but I just used the cribs!" Honest, gentle man.

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  • August 30, 2017 at 12:07 pm
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