Seamus Heaney is a famous Ireland writer who has written many award winning poems. Digging, is but one of the many poems from his collection, "Death of a Naturalist". In this poem Heany is exploring his ancestry and the roots from where he was brought up. He expresses the ideas of his constant regret that he is no longer able to follow his ancestors occupation as potato farmers and reflects back on the glorious days when his father and grandfather was in their prime. .
In the first stanza of Digging Seamus introduces to us his pen. He implores the idea hat he is happy to be holding a pen, "It rests; snug as a gun" The quote "snug as a gun" gives the impression that the pen fits naturally in his hand. That the pen has a sense of belonging and was meant to be held by his hands. Through that last phrase Heaney expresses his happiness in holding a pen and his comfort and contentment.
The second and third stanza's are written in present day tense and switches to past tense in the last two lines. He is writing about what he sees just outside his window. Seamus is witnessing his "father, digging" through flowerbeds. "His straining rump among the flowerbeds," obviously Seamus's father is experiencing some hardships trying to turn the soil on the flowerbed. Heaney introduces to us his fathers past in the second and third lines of stanza two. "Comes up twenty years away, stooping in rhythm to potato drills." He is remembering the times, twenty years ago when his father used to do the monotonous work of digging the potato drills.
The rest of the poem is based on two of Seamus's memories from the past, when both were of his father and his grandfather was digging. His first memory tells of a time when his father and him went to dig for potatoes in the fields. He clearly states that though they were both on the field, it was his father who was digging though they both felt "the cool hardness" of the potatoes in their hands.