Digging (#sol18 Day 13/31)


An older poem came across my world today. Perhaps you know it? “Digging” by Seamus Heaney. You can read the text by following this link, and you can hear the poem (highly recommended) by following this link.

It’s a deliberately constructed poem, complete with memories, movements, sights, textures, and sounds, but my favorite part is the last part:

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.

In the face of heavy tradition, of generations of men before him, Seamus Heaney stands his ground with his sturdy tool of choice.

This poem makes me ponder my tools of choice. What do I choose to carry as I go forth into my world, into my community, beyond the traditions of the generations that came before me? What do I use to make my mark?

What about you? What tool do you choose?


10 thoughts on “Digging (#sol18 Day 13/31)

Add yours

  1. Great question – and what a great poem. I wasn’t familiar with it and I can tell that I will need to return to it. I am thinking about what the generations before me used – will I be the same? Can I? What will I use if not what they used? No answer yet, but I will sleep on it…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing this gem! It is a common thread in all our posts, the poetic, the political, the prose: using our pens to dig into and out of the best and the worst of our lives. Thanks again for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a lovely line from Seamus Heaney that you flip into a challenge for us Slicers. Often, my tool IS a pen — preferably a chisel-tip marker that’s designing a just-right anchor chart! I’m about to check out the poem; thanks for a recommendation!

    Liked by 1 person

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