Digging by Seamus Heaney Poetry Analysis Mrs Kate

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"Digging" by Seamus Heaney Poetry Analysis Mrs. Kate Hendrix Warren East High School Adapted

"Digging" by Seamus Heaney Poetry Analysis Mrs. Kate Hendrix Warren East High School Adapted from Laying the Foundation

Get out a sheet of paper. This paper will be turned in for a

Get out a sheet of paper. This paper will be turned in for a grade. �Write “Digging” – Poetry Analysis at the top along with your name, date, and period. �You will be working individually, with a partner, and with a group. Everyone writes EVERY THING down ALWAYS. There’s no such thing as a “recorder” for this analysis.

Typos… Please listen carefully and fix the typos that I discovered after I made

Typos… Please listen carefully and fix the typos that I discovered after I made the photocopies. Incorrect punctuation can affect your understanding of a poem, so it’s crucial that we deal with it now.

Read the poem �Number the stanzas �The first step to understanding any poem to

Read the poem �Number the stanzas �The first step to understanding any poem to do an initial reading. �Don’t worry if you don’t understand it on the first try! �NO ONE truly “gets” a poem on the first try. NO ONE.

Summary �Write a 3 -5 sentence summary of what you think the poem is

Summary �Write a 3 -5 sentence summary of what you think the poem is about. �Don’t try to analyze. This is just a summary of what is happening in the poem.

Tearing the Poem Apart

Tearing the Poem Apart

Close Reading 1) Write a slash (/) mark at the end of each sentence.

Close Reading 1) Write a slash (/) mark at the end of each sentence. � How many sentences are there? 2) Work with a partner to describe the point of view (1 st, 2 nd, 3 rd person? Does the speaker know everyone’s thoughts or just his/her own? ) of this poem. Use evidence from the poem to justify your answer.

The Speaker and Other Characters * Work with your partner on these two assignments

The Speaker and Other Characters * Work with your partner on these two assignments 3) Write 1 -2 good sentences to describe the speaker in this poem, referring to possible age, gender, occupation, etc. 4) What other specific people does the speaker mention?

Stanza 1 – Work individually 4) What is the simile the speaker uses in

Stanza 1 – Work individually 4) What is the simile the speaker uses in lines 1 and 2? (Write it out directly from the text. ) � What two things are being compared? � How are those two things similar? 5) Define the word “squat” as it’s used in line 2. You may use your phone. � Why do you think the speaker uses this word to describe the pen?

Stanza 2 �Write this definition down on your paper: � A rhetorical fragment is

Stanza 2 �Write this definition down on your paper: � A rhetorical fragment is a sentence fragment used deliberately for a persuasive purpose or to achieve a desired effect. 7) In lines 3 -4, the speaker uses a rhetorical fragment: “Under my window, a clean rasping sound/When the spade sinks into gravelly ground. ” Work with a partner on the following… � What effect is created by the speaker’s use of this fragment? � Write this fragment as a complete sentence. � Discuss as a class…Does the complete sentence achieve the same effect as the fragment? Explain your answer.

Stanza 2 (continued…) * Try these on your own 8) In line 5, the

Stanza 2 (continued…) * Try these on your own 8) In line 5, the speaker uses another rhetorical fragment: “My father, digging. ” � Write this fragment as a complete sentence. � Which is more effective, the fragment or the complete sentence? Explain your answer. 9) What literal scene does the speaker describe in lines 3 -6?

Sound Devices in Stanza 2 10) With a partner, identify two different types of

Sound Devices in Stanza 2 10) With a partner, identify two different types of sound devices used in lines 3 -5 and write the words that create those sound devices. � Possible sound devices are: �Alliteration �Consonance �Onomatopoeia �Rhyme � How do these sound devices contribute to the description of the scene?

Stanzas 3 -4 11) Is the action described in line 7 (“Bends low, comes

Stanzas 3 -4 11) Is the action described in line 7 (“Bends low, comes up twenty years away”) literal or figurative? Explain. 12) What literal scene does the speaker describe in lines 8 -14? 13) What role does the speaker play in the scene described in lines 8 -14? How does this depiction of the speaker differ from the speaker you characterized in Question 3? 14) In lines 10 -11, there are two independent clauses joined only by a comma. What kind of word has the writer omitted? � Why do you think he might have chosen to join these two independent clauses in this way instead of in a more traditional manner?

Stanzas 3 -4 (continued) 15) List all of the main verbs (not participles) in

Stanzas 3 -4 (continued) 15) List all of the main verbs (not participles) in stanzas 3 and 4. Then, give the subject of each verb. Here’s an example: � Stanza 3: bends, comes (rump) 16) What do the tenses of the verbs in Stanzas 3 -4 tell you about the action being described in these two stanzas?

Stanza 5 17) Who is the “old man” the speaker refers to in line

Stanza 5 17) Who is the “old man” the speaker refers to in line 15? 18) Write one complete sentence that describes the speaker’s attitude toward his father, as revealed in lines 3 -15. Then write at least two sentences with details from the poem to support your statement. 19) Who is “his old man” to whom the speaker refers in line 16? � What is the speaker’s relationship to this man? 20) What transition occurs in lines 15 -16?

Stanzas 6 -7 21) What specific scene does the speaker describe in lines 17

Stanzas 6 -7 21) What specific scene does the speaker describe in lines 17 -24? 22) What role does the speaker play in the scene he describes in lines 17 -24? � How does this depiction of the speaker differ from the speaker you characterized in Question 3? 23) Write one complete sentence that describes the speaker’s attitude toward his grandfather, as revealed in lines 15 -24. Then give at least two details from the poem to support your statement.

Stanza 8 24) Read carefully the sentence that comprises lines 25 -27: The cold

Stanza 8 24) Read carefully the sentence that comprises lines 25 -27: 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. � Underline twice the main verb in this sentence. Is it present tense or past tense? 25) List each of the compound subjects in this sentence and tell whether these subjects are more closely related to the speaker’s father or to his grandfather or both. 26) What two meanings of the word “roots” seem implicit in line 27? Explain. 27) What does the speaker mean when he says that these images “awaken in my head”?

Stanza 8 (continued) �Write the following definition on your paper: � Symbolism is the

Stanza 8 (continued) �Write the following definition on your paper: � Symbolism is the use of any object, person, place, or action that has a meaning in itself while standing for something larger than itself, such as a quality, attitude, belief, or value. 28) What tool or implement does the speaker associate with his father? � What tool or implement does the speaker associate with his grandfather? 29) Look carefully again at what the father and grandfather were digging. How do these things represent some of the basic necessities of life?

Stanza 8 (continued) 30) Read carefully the sentence in line 28: But I’ve no

Stanza 8 (continued) 30) Read carefully the sentence in line 28: But I’ve no spade to follow men like them. � What part of speech is “But”? � What have you been told about starting sentences with those parts of speech? � What is the rhetorical function of the word “But” at the beginning of this sentence? 31) Paraphrase this sentence (write it in your own words).

Stanza 9 32) What tool or implement does the speaker associate with himself? 33)

Stanza 9 32) What tool or implement does the speaker associate with himself? 33) How can the speaker “dig with” this tool? 34) How do these two different tools serve as symbols for the speaker and for the speaker’s father and grandfather?

Bringing It All Together

Bringing It All Together

The Title �Write the following definition on your paper: � A motif is a

The Title �Write the following definition on your paper: � A motif is a pattern or strand of imagery or symbolism in a work of literature. �Notice that the title consists of only one word – “Digging. ” Where is this word (or another form of this word) repeated in the poem? For each instance, give the line number and tell who is connected with the digging in that line. �Find at least three other words or phrases in the poem that also relate to the act of digging. �How does this motif of digging unify the poem?

Coming Full Circle �Why do you think the speaker repeats in lines 29 -30

Coming Full Circle �Why do you think the speaker repeats in lines 29 -30 the words he used in lines 1 -2? �Notice that the speaker’s descriptions of his father and his grandfather are “bookmarked” by lines 1 -2 and 2920. How does this repetition relate to he cycle of life established in the poem?

Determining Tone

Determining Tone

Giving Us Attitude 1) List several words from your Tone/Mood handout that describe the

Giving Us Attitude 1) List several words from your Tone/Mood handout that describe the speaker’s attitude toward his father and his grandfather. � Circle the two words you think best describe this attitude.

Create a chart like this… Device – Evidence (Lines from the poem) Commentary (Explain

Create a chart like this… Device – Evidence (Lines from the poem) Commentary (Explain HOW the device reveals the speaker’s attitude toward his father and his grandfather) Tone words: __________ and _____________ Example: Keeping in mind the motif of “digging” in this poem, fill in your chart with examples of diction, imagery, and figurative language that reveal the speaker’s attitude toward his father and his grandfather. You must include at least four pieces of evidence and identify the device used. Use quotation marks around quotes from the poem and cite line numbers. The commentary explains, analyzes, etc. how or why the concrete device reveals the tone you identified.

Writing a Topic Sentence 3) Examine the evidence you provided in the chart above.

Writing a Topic Sentence 3) Examine the evidence you provided in the chart above. Now complete the following sentence by filling in the blank with the appropriate noun forms of the tone words you selected for Question 1 and two types of concrete devices you used in your chart: The speaker in “Digging” reveals his _________ (attitude – noun) and _________ (attitude – noun) toward his father and his grandfather through his use of ________ (device) and _________ (device).