Seamus Heaney's Digging

I heard a very interesting quote from Seamus Heaney from Joe Biden's speech yesterday: ‘History says / Don’t hope on this side of the grave / But then, once in a lifetime / The longed-for tidal wave / Of justice can rise up / And hope and history rhyme.’

I started reading some of Heaney's other poems today and found a very interesting poem "Digging." Here is a decent reading and analysis of this poem I found on youtube (there are several others as well):  

To me, this poem is about being inspired by your past generations to continue to do the hard work they did. But you don't necessarily have to have the same instruments. Heaney's father and grandfather used to dig, and as he recalls, they dug quite well ... deep and wide. He wants to do that, but instead of with a spade, he wants to do it with a pen. Somewhat similar to the analogy of singing. As long as there is love, your digging is deep, your singing is sweet, no matter what instruments accompany your singing. 

Digging even more subtle

His grandfather uses more muscle
Down the window of my laptop
And Heaney digs with his pen
A finer kind of digging
As generations go on
to reach good turf
we need even less 
to unearth oneness
As I dig with my breath
And this is even more subtle


  1. Love is sweeter you know how when in front of the one you love no words you can use other than digging with your pen. No spade needed other than the pen which writes so sweet. Love these lines. Oneness makes it more sweeter than ever more.