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Anahorish And Digging | Comparative Essay

Anahorish and Digging are two poems compiled by acclaimed Irish poet, Seamus Heaney, from the 1972 anthology "Wintering Out" and the 1966 anthology "Death of an Naturalist". Anahorish was the name of the school Heaney went to (the Anglicized version of the Irish term "anachgeeor uisce" indicating place of cool water), and targets Heaney heading back to go to his old school, going back with time to seem sensible of today's, whereas Digging is approximately Heaney expressing his admiration of his forefathers, and how they dug for success, whereas he uses his pen as opposed to their spades to dig into the past of his fellow Irish people. I've chosen to compare Anahorish with Digging as Personally i think that Digging shares many common traits with Anahorish including the referrals to land, the reminiscing of the poet, the sluggish, reflective language, yet they differ, particularly context-wise. Both poems show the main element theme of reminiscing/looking back in time, and the planet earth, and can be analysed in terms of posting this key theme, as well as framework and terminology.

Both Digging and Anahorish utilize the two styles of looking back in time, and the earth. This is immediately noticeable in both poems, where in Digging Heaney instantly represents how his father's "spade sinks into gravelly ground", whilst in Anahorish, land referrals are instantaneously made "the first hill on the globe where springs washed into the shiny turf and darkened cobbles in the bed of the lane". "Cobbles" specifically has a solid Irish cultural reference point mounted on it. We can now see that a direct comparison can be produced between the two poems, as they both have a give attention to the land, just in several contexts. In Digging, Heaney needs to vividly illustrate the land so he is able to transfer the reader from what it was like for the potato diggers of Northern Ireland, and exactly how tough their conditions were; the strong explanation of how Heaney observed his father's "straining rump one of the flowerbeds" also conveys to the reader how clear this storage area is to the poet, and exactly how it must be imprinted in his mind's eye. Excerpts from the poem such as how "he rooted out extra tall tops, buried the dazzling edge deep" indicates to the reader how unpleasant and laborious this work will need to have been; the adjective "rooted", as well to be a typical "Heaney-esque" device in which the poet uses nouns as verbs, also has very negative connotations to it, being quite an emotive expression as it expresses feelings of suffering and very hard work. In Anahorish, Heaney uses the land as a representation of what he remembers, using the landmarks he recognizes to inspire his memory of his old key school, assisting him to delve deep into his former so they can make sense of future. Andrew Green notes that "the land, in Heaney's early poetry, represents many things, but always encapsulates a continuity of experience. Whether he's looking for personal meaning or wanting to find a source and possible framework for the troubles that plague his native Ireland, he detects his language and inspiration strongly rooted in the land. So essential is the part it takes on in the verse of the early collection that people can easily see in the planet earth no mere means to end but a finish in itself". To summarise Green's factors, Heaney often uses the land as a source of inspiration, a method of evoking a few of his past stories, supporting him explore his history and assist in determining his present. Evidently, the land is of great importance to Heaney, which is portrayed through to the reader.

Both poems also explore Heaney's reminiscing. In Digging Heaney plainly goes back with time to keep in mind his grandfather digging the land "My grandfather trim more turf per day than other man on Toner's bog. Once I taken him dairy in a container corked sloppily with paper"; in this framework, Heaney recalls this minute to stress to the reader the strong ethics instilled in his grandfather (the excerpt goes on to state how his grandfather would have one drink of dairy, then get right back to digging). However, in Anahorish, Heaney's going back with time is of a much greater importance. He details how the springs used to wash into the sparkly grass; obviously, Heaney is wanting to remember areas of his institution, in the hopes he can remember who he once was, and thus bear in mind who he's again - Heaney is using his history to find himself. It could be stated therefore, that a third theme in both poems is a loss of individuality - for Heaney in Digging he seems almost uneasy with himself for not digging like his forefathers, whereas in Anahorish the poet is unsure of who he is, taking methods such as going to his old college when he was a youth, and using the land to evoke early on thoughts and rediscover himself; as stated in THE CHANGING TIMES Newspaper article entitled "The Poet", "those links to what's absent before - physical, internal - are the power behind much of his work". Obviously, the land has a primary connect to his physical and emotional memories/psyche, and Heaney therefore uses the land to encourage his poetry and memory. So, even though both poems promote the same themes or templates, reminiscing and the earth are used in various contexts.

Clearly, both Anahorish and Digging happen in several circumstances. For one, in Digging Heaney is using the poem in an effort to almost hail the workmen of North Ireland, praising them for their tolerance and strong work ethic. Plainly, "the living root base of the poem both become, for the reader, symbols of the poet's storage area" (Andrew Green); indeed, the poem is essentially one long recollection of his forefather's living, and Heaney is deploying it to bring focus on the plight of the Irish individuals. At the time of the poem, it could be assumed that there is a potato famine in Ireland, resulting in mass fatality by starvation, because of the fact that the potato was the food that the majority of the impoverished Irish survived on; it's damage was damaging. In Anahorish, Heaney is presumably in a fragile state of mind, perhaps unsure of who he's, so he goes to Anahorish to see if he can stir up any memory, and desire that the website will help him find himself again.

In both poems, the words is relatively slow-moving and reflective. The vocabulary in Digging is descriptive, the poet clearly in a position to vividly recount his experience watching his dad dig "the coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft against the inside knee was levered strongly"; therefore we can obviously note that Heaney watching his dad dig still left a enduring impression on him. Therefore, the terminology shows how brilliant Heaney's remembrances are. This is also apparent in Anahorish where Heaney can bear in mind the "after-image of lamps swung through the back yards on winter evenings". In Digging, Heaney notes how he once "carried him milk in a container corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up to drink it, then fell to right away nicking and slicing neatly". The juxtaposing terms of "sloppily" and "neatly" in Digging reinforce how at this time in the poem, Heaney is a young boy, along with his clumsy manner, whilst his grandfather can be an experienced, concise man, who have been digging for many years. So in Digging, contrast is employed to emphasise Heaney's childlike immaturity when he was a guy, again, an obvious allusion to the poem's theme of reminiscing. In Anahorish, there is a clear distinction "to break the light ice at wells and dunghills". It can be assumed that discord of "ice" and "dunghill" is meant to act as an escape, a reminder to the reader that Heaney was looking back into time, and today has to get back in to the present. Both poems also use onomatopoeia, Digging explaining the "squelch and slap of soggy peat" and Anahorish noting the way the "springs washed into the bright grass". These onomatopoeia's are especially important in assisting create atmosphere, and require the reader in Heaney's coach of thought; onomatopoeic words "partially close the space between words and actuality" as said by Bernard Richards, who further notes that "Seamus Heaney is a professional of sound effects". A protracted metaphor is also present in each poem. In Digging, the whole text can be an expanded metaphor for Heaney digging in to the past using his poetry; the saying "Between my finger and my thumb the squat pen rests. I'll dig with it" flawlessly encapsulates this sentiment. Meanwhile, in Anahorish, the excerpt "springs washed in to the shiny lawn" is a metaphor for the passing of time, carrying on on in the poem, as the complete point of browsing Anahorish was to arouse any memories which can be too profound to mix though thought by themselves.

Both poems are very similar, in which they both share the topics of reminiscing, the earth, and use a lot of the same linguistic techniques. However, in terms of context, the two poems differ substantially; Heaney clearly seems the same sentiments in both, a desire to use the Irish landscape to evoke profound memory, which he communicates to the reader so he will get himself.

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