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Dialogue about Seamus Heaney's poetry
Tom Paulin, poet and lecturer at Oxford University, and John Hegley, poet, discuss the work of Seamus Heaney. The discussion commences with a debate as to whether Heaney's poems should be spoken or read. This leads to an exploration to the cadence and rhythm in his poetry, with specific reference to the consonantal sounds in 'Digging'. Colour is added by a local man who describes his experience of digging and cutting peat when he was younger. At the end, Tom Paulin looks at the meaning beyond the first interpretation.
After watching this clip, ask students to highlight the consonants and open vowels. Which are more prevalent? How do these add to the meaning of the poem and to the sense that Heaney's poetry should be read aloud?
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