seamus heaney discussion

1. In “Digging,” Heaney draws a connecting line between himself and his father and grandfather, both of whom worked with their hands, digging. In what ways is Heaney similar to these men? In what ways is writing a form of “digging”? (200 words)

2. In “Punishment” the speaker imagines himself to be at the scene of a ritual punishment nearly 25 centuries ago. Towards the end of the poem, he refers to the bog girl’s “betraying sisters.” These are the women during the poet’s own time who were punished by the IRA (the Irish Republican Army) for having relationships with loyalists (people who supported the British government) by shaving off their hair, stripping them, and cuffing them to railings naked so that they can be punished and humiliated for their betrayal of their people. What is the significance of his identification with the suffering of this young girl? What does this poem say about punishment and those responsible for it (in any capacity), regardless of time? What is the speaker’s own responsibility in the punishment of these women? (250 words)

choose one of the questions and answer it

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