Contributor to books, including The Writers: A Sense of Ireland, O'Brien Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1979; Canopy: A Work for Voice and Light in Harvard Yard, Harvard University Art Museums, 1997; Healing Power: The Epic Poise—A Celebration of Ted Hughes, edited by Nick Gammage, Faber, 1999; For the Love of Ireland: A Literary Companion for Readers and Travelers, Ballantine, 2001; 101 Poems against War, edited by Matthew Hollis and Paul Keegan, Faber, 2003; and Don't Ask Me What I Mean: Poets in Their Own Words, Picador, 2003. Contributor of poetry and essays to periodicals, including New Statesman, Listener, Guardian, Times Literary Supplement, and London Review of Books. Heaney's papers and letters are collected at Emory University, Atlanta, GA.
Heaney’s diction here is also curious, as he uses the word “squat” to describe his instrument. While it can describe the physical appearance of the pen itself, Heaney could also be showing the connection between himself and his father and grandfather, both of whom would have to squat in order to properly dig for the potatoes and peat moss. The last line, “I’ll dig with it,” signifies that while Heaney realizes his instrument is different from previous generations, he is still completing an arduous task. While his father and grandfather dug for potatoes and moss, he is digging for the right word, constantly attempting to create sustenance through his words.