Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
- Boy, that image of the pen with a gun really gets our attention. Why do you think Heaney compares something so seemingly harmless to something more powerful and violent?
- Do you think the speaker is unhappy that he's not a potato farmer like his father and grandfather? Why or why not?
- What similarities are there between writing and digging for potatoes or peat?
- Did you notice any sounds in the poem in particular (maybe some rhymes or interesting rhythms)? What do all these sounds have to do with what the poem is about?
- When the lines "Between my finger and my thumb/ The squat pen rests" are repeated at the end, has the meaning changed from when you read them at the beginning? How so?
- What do you think the speaker will dig for with his pen? His past? Truth?