* Site-Outage Notice: Our engineering elves will be tweaking the Shmoop site from Monday, December 22 10:00 PM PST to Tuesday, December 23 5:00 AM PST. The site will be unavailable during this time.
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.


by Seamus Heaney

Strength and Skill Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep (12)

It's pretty impressive how Heaney can make all this digging so beautiful. After all, it's totally dirty work. But his imagery makes it seem downright lovely.

Quote #5

By God, the old man could handle a spade.
Just like his old man. (15-16)

Heaney explicitly states that his father was super-skilled at digging, and so was his grandfather. It seems like a source of awe for our speaker – like he's totally impressed.

Quote #6

My grandfather cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner's bog. (17-18)

What exactly is cutting turf, anyway? Check out this video to find out more.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Noodle's College Search