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.

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