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Richard Wilbur “The Writer” and Seamus Heaney “Digging” Essay

  • Submitted by: aalslambkh
  • on October 24, 2009
  • Category: Arts and Music
  • Length: 1,108 words

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Below is an essay on "Richard Wilbur “The Writer” and Seamus Heaney “Digging”" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

“The Writer” by Richard Wilbur and “Digging” by Seamus Heaney both focus on different aspects of writing. “The Writer” is a poem from the perspective of a parent listening to their child trying to write a story. “Digging” is from the perspective of a writer watching his father, a potato farmer, at work in the field.
Wilbur’s “The Writer” and Heaney’s “Digging” both views writing as a laborious process that you have to keep working at in order to succeed. In “The Writer,” the father hears his daughter typing a story and the typewriter keys clicking over and over “Like a chain hauled over a gunwale”(line 6). The sound of the typewriter is compared to a “chain hauled over a gunwale,” which is a constant and steady noise. This simile lets the reader know that the daughter at this point is having no trouble writing her story. However, this changes in the fourth and fifth stanza because he hears her start and stop and start again at the typewriter. She is having some difficulty and has to keep pausing to think. The father then recalls a time when a bird got trapped in his daughter’s room. The bird drops “like a glove to the hard floor, or the desk-top, and wait then, humped and bloody, for the wits to try it again...” (lines 23-26) The bird kept trying to get out of the room until finally it “lifted off from a chair-back, beating a smooth course for the right window and clearing the sill of the world” (lines 28-30). Because the bird did not give up when it was hurt and tired, it prevailed; it got out through the window to freedom. The writing process is similar to the bird stuck in the room; stories and other works of literature do not all get written in one attempt. There is a lot of pausing to think, erasing, writing some more and the cycle repeats itself.
Seamus Heaney’s “Digging” seems to compare...

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Richard Wilbur “The Writer” and Seamus Heaney “Digging”. Anti Essays. Retrieved December 18, 2018, from the World Wide Web: http://cassandralynndesignllc.com/free-essays/Richard-Wilbur-Ldquo-The-Writer-Rdquo-And-Seamus-236079.html