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TitleDigging IOC Notes
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3. Digging is a significant poem for the poet because he justifies why he wanted to
become a writer instead of following the family tradition of becoming a labourer.

4. Summary:

• Poet writes at desk, looks out window, sees father digging and describes the
process involved.

• This reminds him of his grandfather, how he had a reputation of being an expert in
handling a spade.

• We are then brought back to Heaney writing at his desk, ending poem by stating
how he too would dig in his own way through writing.

5. Structuring IOC (I will be talking about…… — This part is basically up to you)

[Please take note to remember: (S)etting (C)haracter (A)ction (S)tyle{lang,lit} (I)deas

For me, I have a focus and how I will explain it.

A. Process of digging potatoes - Heaney uses plenty of phonology and verbs to portray
B. Relationship with father and admiration for grandfather - By looking at the use of
structure and choice of diction.
C. Heaney’s intentions

A. Process of digging potatoes
(Action, style, setting, themes, motifs)

• Point1: Digging is a continuous process.
- Evidence1: [Style-rhyming, onomatopoeia stanza 2, first two lines] “Sound” and
- Explain1: Phonology echos repetitiveness of the motion involved.
- Evidence2: Stanza 3 “Stooping in rhythm”
- Explain2: It just supports point. Motion is monotonous.
- Evidence3: Repetition of “Digging” stanzas 2 and 3.
- Explain3: Reinforces repetitiveness using same diction.
(Evidence1,2,3 is about father)
- Evidence4: [Style-use of language, phonology] verbs - ’nicking’, ‘slicing’,
’heaving’, ’going’, ‘digging’ — ‘ing’ sound is repeated
- Explain4: Do I have to??
(Evidence4 - grandfather)

• Point2: Heaney uses [style] alliteration + phonology to give the readers an image to
work with.
- Evidence1: verb “rasping sound”
- Explain1: Rasping is coarse and harsh… unpleasant to ears. Digging must
require a lot of energy.
- Evidence2: Alliteration - “spade sinks” and “gravelly ground”
- Explain2: Reflects the actions of the spade. ‘gr’ sound is harsh, reinforces
harshness in evidence1.
- Evidence3: Stanza 7 - ‘squelch and slap’, ‘curt cuts’
- Explain3: Sibilance ‘s’ sound reflects unpleasantness of [setting] soil

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