Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney.

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Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney. 'Mid-Term Break' by the poet Seamus Heaney is about a personal experience that he has encountered. It deals with the issues of life and death in a family and also how different people cope. The title at first suggests that the poem is going to be about a holiday, but as you get into the poem further, you realise that the title has a far deeper and darker meaning... In the first stanza, we learn that Seamus Heaney is in a college sick bay waiting to be picked up. You get suspicious when he is being picked up his neighbour, which could indicate that something serious has happened. Time is passing slowly, and Heaney uses alliteration to show this. "Counting bells knelling classes to a close." Already so early in the poem, we sense that something is wrong due to the poets word choice of 'knelling'. Knelling is when a church bell rings to signify a funeral. The clues become more apparent as you move through the stanzas, and are very effective in arousing your suspicions. When Seamus Heaney arrives home, he is greeted by his father crying on the porch. A stereotypical male would usually hold back his feelings and Heaney uses parenthesis to show this. "In the porch i met my father crying ---He had always taken funerals in his stride--- And Big Jim Evans saying it was a hard blow." Obviously something had caused him great pain, and parenthesis is effective in showing that normally Heaneys father would bottle up his feelings, and be strong for everyone else, taking things in his stride. Meanwhile in the next verse. "The baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pram" This extract shows that the baby is oblivious to its surroundings and to what is happen... ... middle of paper ... ...ld, and was killed in a road traffic accident... "A four foot box, a foot for every year." The poet is emphasizing the fact that his brother was just an innocent child, and did not deserve to die at such an early stage in his life. He places this line separate from the rest of the stanzas and this draws your attention to it; making you think about how precious life is, and just when you think that you have it all figured out, something happens that makes you question the purpose of life again. We think that the natural order is for adults to die before children and that is why it is such a hard thing to come to terms with when a child dies in a family. A point i think that Heaney was trying to stress to the reader, is that no matter what tragedies happen in life, in the end we just have to move on and accept the past so we can move onto the future.
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