(I’m Not a Blogger with a Cause, But This is An Issue That Preys on My Mind) We Need to Dig to Find What’s Between Bombing and Doing Nothing: Global Peace Needs Diggers. (A 420 Character Poem in 9 Lines AND Seamus Heaney Reading His Poem “Digging”)


World leaders (that includes Congress)

don’t get that global order needs to be

(almost wrote “fought for” but I’m avoiding war-words) DUG for;

the way the poet Seamus Heaney describes his father digging for potatoes,

& himself, with a squat pen resting snug as a gun between his finger and his thumb,

uses words to excavate new ideas.

Snug as a gun, but not a gun; and it yields no sound bites or scuds.



Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney
Seamus Heaney (Photo credit: SeanOConnor2010)Related articles



Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.
Under my window, a clean rasping sound
When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:
My father, digging. I look 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.
The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked,
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.
By God, the old man could handle a spade.
Just like his old man.
My grandfather cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner’s bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. 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. Digging.
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.
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.

Seamus Heaney, “Digging” from Death of a Naturalist. Copyright 1966 by Seamus Heaney. Reprinted with the permission of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, LLC.

Source: Death of a Naturalist (1966)