A poem to read in the bath… ‘Digging’

Today’s poem is about the gulf between two generations, father and son. In our upwardly-mobile society today, we should all take a moment to consider our origins and those of our parents and grandparents: what were they doing when they were the age we are now, where were they living, what was their daily routine? Author Sandra Danby chooses a favourite ‘poem to read in the bath’. This is ‘Digging’ from ‘Death of a Naturalist’ by Irish poet Seamus Heaney.

[photo: thepoetryfoundation.org]

[photo: thepoetryfoundation.org]

Because of copyright restrictions I am unable to reproduce the poem in full, but please search it out in an anthology or at your local library.

‘Digging’
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 the gravelly ground:
My father, digging…

I am an author, my father was a farmer, his father was a farmer. They milked cows, I write stories.

Click here to hear Seamus Heaney read the poem in full.
Read Heaney’s biography here at The Poetry Foundation. If you don’t know this website, it is a wonderful resource about poetry.
To learn more about Heaney, read Dennis O’Driscoll’s Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney [Faber], click here for the Amazon link.

death of a naturalist by seamus heaney 19-6-14

 

‘Death of a Naturalist’ by Seamus Heaney [UK: Faber] 

Read these other excerpts and find a new poet to love:-
‘The Dead’ by Billy Collins
‘Alone’ by Dea Parkin
‘Cloughton Wyke I’ by John Wedgwood Clarke

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
A #poem to read in the bath: ‘Digging’ by Seamus Heaney http://wp.me/p5gEM4-16f via @SandraDanby

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