Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Sound of Digging

Heaney's poem "Digging" describes amongst many things the sound of his father working. The second stanza of the poem emphasizes this theme. Heaney's father is sinking his spade into the ground and the sound it makes is described as "a clean rasping sound." The act of digging in my mind is usually not associated with the idea of clean. In fact it digging is dirty. Heaney uses "clean" not so much to describe the physical act of digging but of what it stands for: a good, simple, clean life of the past. Also in the second stanza Heaney uses the alliteration of "spade sinks" and "gravelly ground" to create the sounds of digging. "Gravelly ground" in particular gives one a sensation of a shovel being pushed into gravel and the accompanied grinding sound of grrrrgrrr.

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