"Digging" by Seamus Heaney

After watching his father digging outside, the speaker of this poem compares his father's labor to his own work as a writer. Read the text here.
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definitions & notes only words
  1. squat
    short and thick
    Between my finger and my thumb
    The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.
  2. snug
    enjoying comforting warmth and shelter in a small space
    Between my finger and my thumb
    The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.
  3. rasp
    a harsh, grating tone or noise
    Under my window, a clean rasping sound
    When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:
    My father, digging.
  4. spade
    hand shovel that can be pushed into the earth with the foot
    Under my window, a clean rasping sound
    When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:
    My father, digging.
  5. strain
    exert much effort or energy
    Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds
    Bends low, comes up twenty years away
    Stooping in rhythm through potato drills
    Where he was digging.
  6. stoop
    bend one's back forward from the waist on down
    Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds
    Bends low, comes up twenty years away
    Stooping in rhythm through potato drills
    Where he was digging.
  7. rhythm
    an interval during which a recurring sequence occurs
    Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds
    Bends low, comes up twenty years away
    Stooping in rhythm through potato drills
    Where he was digging.
  8. coarse
    rough to the touch
    The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft
    Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
  9. nestle
    lie in a sheltered position
    The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft
    Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
  10. shaft
    a long rod or pole, especially the body of a weapon
    The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft
    Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
  11. scatter
    strew or distribute over an area
    He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
    To scatter new potatoes that we picked,
    Loving their cool hardness in our hands.
  12. turf
    surface layer of ground containing a mat of grass and roots
    My grandfather cut more turf in a day
    Than any other man on Toner’s bog.
  13. bog
    wet spongy ground of decomposing vegetation
    My grandfather cut more turf in a day
    Than any other man on Toner’s bog.
  14. sod
    surface layer of ground containing a mat of grass and roots
    He straightened up
    To drink it, then fell to right away
    Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
    Over his shoulder, going down and down
    For the good turf.
  15. squelch
    make a sucking sound
    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.
  16. curt
    brief and to the point
    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.

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