Settings, subject matter and formats Digging Ulster home setting; composed ‘at home’ at The Wood in August, 1964. The poet is seated behind a window pen in hand, in the act of composition. Initial focus on the hand holding his squat pen, the symbolic tool of his poetic trade, contrasts it with the elegance of the spades used by father and grandfather; Heaney has abandoned the family farming tradition by going to University and choosing a different direction in life. 9 stanzas of varying length from 2 to 5 lines (31 lines in total); lines grouped largely around 10 syllables; stanzas end in half lines breaking the rhythm or adding emphasis; the rhyme scheme is equally diverse: starting formally aabbb […]