What is the summary of the poem "Digging"?

What is the summary of the poem "Digging"?

Tradition and family. "Digging" delves into the relationships of three generations: the speaker, his father, and the speaker's grandpa. The speaker's life is quite different from that of his forefathers and grandfathers; he is a writer, but his father and grandfather were farmers. However, all three share one thing in common: they all love digging holes.

The first hole the speaker digs is for his dead mother. He digs her a deep grave and covers her with earth so she will not be disturbed by people who walk over the ground. He feels guilty about this because his mother had a hard life and it was his duty to take care of her. But since she died, he has no one to worry about and can focus on other things.

After his mother's death, the speaker starts working on a farm owned by his father. One day his father asks him if he wants to work in town instead, but he decides to stay with his father because there are no farms around town and nobody wants to hire someone his age. So he stays and works hard every day until night falls when he goes home exhausted. His father says that he isn't responsible enough to stay out late without permission, so he begins to dig a second hole, this time for his father.

What is the meaning of the poem "Digging" by Seamus Heaney?

The poem contends that by doing so, the speaker is paying honor to his father and grandparents. To commemorate and maintain one's ancestry, one does not have to exactly follow in their predecessors' path. One can create one's own destiny.

The poem begins with the son saying goodbye to his father as he goes off to war. As he says goodbye, they discuss various topics including family history, the father's mother, and how she died (she had cancer). Then, the son goes off to fight in World War II while the father stays behind in Ireland.

When the son returns home from war, he finds out that his father has been sick with depression for many years now. According to the son, his father was never the same after his mother died. The son decides to go see him before he leaves for college.

When he arrives at his father's house, he sees that some people are coming to take away the father's grave. The son asks why they are taking the grave away since his father won't need it anymore. One of the men at the site answers his question by saying that yes, his father will still need it since he is always going to be part of them even though they are going to be living their own lives now.

What is the extended metaphor in the poem "Digging"?

A sample response follows. The extended metaphor of "digging" continues throughout the poem: The act of digging done by this father and grandfather is compared to the speaker's metaphorical "digging up" of the past. Also, the language of "digging" was commonly used to describe the process of searching for information about someone's background or history. Finally, the phrase "to dig one's own grave" is often used as a metaphor for committing suicide.

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