Mid Term Break by Seumas Heaney

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Mid Term Break by Seumas Heaney The title of the poem is deliberately deceptive because the phrase 'Mid Term Break' suggests a term-time holiday, which is normally a happy occasion. In reality, the meaning of the title is considerably less cheerful as, later in the poem, we learn that Heaney's younger brother has died. Therefore, the word 'break' in the title refers to a break in the family. In the first stanza, we are immediately aware that there is tragedy underlying the poem. The phrase "Counting bells knelling classes to a close" signifies that there has perhaps been a death; bells 'knelling' are often linked to funeral processions. Heaney has also used alliteration in this line, which helps us to stir up some of the unhappiness. Long vowel sounds such as ou, ell, ass, ose and 's' are used to reflect the sound of bells, which give this stanza a slow, pounding rhythm. Again, this could be to signify the somberness of the situation. Our suspicions of a death are confirmed in the second stanza, when the narrator describes his father as having "always taken funerals in their stride." In this instance though, the father's tears indicate the passing of someone incredibly close to him - immediate family. The third line, "Big Jim Evans saying it was a hard blow," tells us that the death is a particularly tragic one, and one that will be difficult to come to terms with. We learn in stanza three that the narrator has a younger sibling and how his or her reactions are in such stark contrast to the solemn reality of the scene. "The baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pram." In this line, we notice that there are no commas. Thi... ... middle of paper ... ... or middle-aged. The poem makes you want to treasure every day as it could be your last. It also leads you to think of your life and how much you value it very seriously, as it tells of a loss which was so unexpected and tragic. I really enjoyed reading this poem and studying the techniques Heaney uses to make this poem so very moving. It is a deeply emotional poem and I felt moved reading it. Heaney abstains from using dialogue, and this sums up the typical situation perfectly. When people are hit by something so sad and unexpected, they are struck dumb in their grief. I feel that Heaney has made a truly exceptional job of making this such a moving poem and showing very accurately the way people deal with unforeseen tragedy. I found this poem fascinating to read and would certainly recommend this poem to anyone.

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