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Digging Summary & Analysis
by Seamus Heaney

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"Digging" is one of the most widely known poems by the Irish poet Seamus Heaney and serves as the opening poem of Heaney's debut 1966 poetry collection, Death of a Naturalist. It begins with the speaker hovering over a blank page with a pen, preparing to write. The speaker then reflects on the work ethic and skill of his father and grandfather, both of whom worked the land as farmers. Though the speaker is breaking with that specific familial tradition, the speaker presents writing as its own kind of labor, with speaker vowing to "dig" with the pen.

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