Comparing Two Poems – Follower and Digging Essay
In this poem “Follower” the voice is that of the Son. He is speaking about his father who he looks up to and admires. The poem starts with the lines “My father worked with a horse-plough, his shoulders globed like a full sail strung”.
The image given to us immediately is that of a large piece of machinery controlled by a large a powerful man. We are told his shoulders are like a “full sail strung”, straight away I think of I large yacht sailing at great speed across the world nothing can stop it. I think that the son is trying to portray this; therefore he has used the wording to great affect.The next significant line say’s “The horses strained at his clicking tongue”. The idea of these great beasts straining with effort to the command of their masters minimal effort command is a great one.
The writer has used a great comparison between big and small to create a superb image of this grand master who controls all he does. The next verse starts with a powerful expression of admiration “An expert. He would set the wing and fit the bright steel pointed sock. ” The son then describes the sock in dangerous detail, making it sound as lethal as a samurai sword using words such as “Bright, steel and pointed”The next lines are “The sod rolled over without breaking. At the headrig, with a single pluck” The writer uses a comparison of opposites again; he tells us that the dirty turf roles over without breaking. For me this is more likely to happen with a piece of silk and maybe this is what we are meant to think.
“Of reins, the sweating team turned around and back into the land. ” This depicts that this great figure that we have recognised is in control of a whole team. He is the boss and sets them back into the land to do more hard work. His eye Narrowed and angled at the ground, mapping the furrow exactly. ” This tells us that he is as careful, skilful, and precise as a cartographer. He is concentrating so hard that he does not notice his son taking quiet notes.
The next verse describes the boy’s memories of his father “I stumbled in his hobnailed wake, Fell sometimes on the polished sod;” The son describes stumbling in his fathers hobnailed wake, To me this puts an image of big clumpy hobnailed boots creating a wake like a car ferry that stretch’s for miles and lasts forever.The idea of the sod being polished is another of the opposite comparisons I spoke about earlier. “Sometimes he rode me on his back dipping and rising to his plod. ” This although this man was large and strong inside he was docile, the writer shows this in the way he walks (dipping and rising to his PLOD) Admiration and strength is again shown in the next verse, “I wanted to grow up and plough, to close on eye, stiffen my arm. All I ever did was follow In his broad shadow around the farm. ” The son is saying how he wants to be the leader.
Read “Night of the scorpion” poem questions and answersHe feels like he is just a follower, a nuisance, and a growing pain under his fathers’ vast shadow. “I was a nuisance, tripping falling, Yapping always. But today it is my father who keeps stumbling behind me, and will not go away.
” Now roles have been reversed, his father has become frail and now the son realises just how great his father really was to put up with him. In contrast Digging is much more of a ‘what you see is what you get’ kind of poem and describes his father in a different kind of admiration.He is more acknowledging the strength and the way his ‘old man’ handles a spade as apposed to admiring him. The boy appreciates his fathers talent as a skill and less of a fine art, as we saw in the ‘Follower’. This poem does not really entrap me except the last four lines “But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.
Between my finger and my thumb the squat pen rests. I’ll dig with it. ” What the writer is trying to say here is that he does no have a spade or the skills of the men before him.He has a special talent with his pen; so he’s going to do as well with his pen as his father and grandfather have with their spades.
The poem I enjoyed reading the most would have to be the Follower. Its complicated yet intelligent comparisons made me become immersed in the poem, forever finding different perspectives to look upon the poem in. The poets attention to detail was amazing describing constantly, I really felt like I could draw a picture of the scene that was taking place each verse. The verses were also structured very well each flowing splendidly into the other making it a pleasure to read.