"I’m in a bit of an introspective mood, because one of Ireland’s greatest poets died today. His name was Seamus Heaney."
"Do you have a favorite poem by him?"


Digging
by Seamus Heaney

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 gravelly ground: 
My father, digging. I look down

Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds 
Bends low, comes up twenty years away 
Stooping in rhythm through potato drills 
Where he was digging.

The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft 
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked,
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.

By God, the old man could handle a spade. 
Just like his old man.

My grandfather cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner’s bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, going down and down
For the good turf. Digging.

The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I’ll dig with it.

4,444 notes - Show notes
  1. bereadytoplay reblogged this from humansofnewyork
  2. hawtnready reblogged this from humansofnewyork
  3. balletdancingwhovian reblogged this from stoll-the-drachmas
  4. stoll-the-drachmas reblogged this from humansofnewyork
  5. niamwhorayne reblogged this from humansofnewyork
  6. canyou-seeme reblogged this from humansofnewyork
  7. wingardiumlouviosa reblogged this from humansofnewyork
  8. theyoungerdaze reblogged this from humansofnewyork
  9. nerfless reblogged this from humansofnewyork
  10. merelies reblogged this from humansofnewyork
  11. facetofacewithdarkness reblogged this from humansofnewyork
  12. theelizabethjoy reblogged this from soglideaway
  13. soglideaway reblogged this from lucydwrites
  14. lucydwrites reblogged this from baby-jayne
  15. baby-jayne reblogged this from humansofnewyork
  16. roguerie reblogged this from humansofnewyork