A Comparison of Seamus Heaney's Mid-Term Break and Digging Essay

A Comparison of Seamus Heaney's Mid-Term Break and Digging Essay

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A Comparison of Seamus Heaney's Mid-Term Break and Digging

I am comparing two poems by Seamus Heaney- `Mid-Term Break` and
`Digging`. Both of the poems are written about his childhood and his

The first poem I analysed was `Mid-Term Break`, where the simple and
straight forward title `Break` caught my attention suggesting to me
that this poem is going to be a positive experience, a break from
work, a time to relax.

The commencing stanza, the first line reads, ?I sat all morning in the
college sick bay?, which has connotation of depression, illness and
suffering suggested from the word `sick`. Also with the reference to
college the reader gathers that the boy is in his late teens. Second
line, ?Counting bells knelling classes to a close?, the word
`knelling` in that line is associated with funerals and death so we
get the feeling that something might be wrong and gather a sense of
foreboding at what is to come. The final line, ?At two o?clock our
neighbours drove me home?, is unusual, why are his neighbours driving
him home and not his parents? The question why are his parents driving
him home this increases the sense of foreboding. Also there is falling
rhythm in this stanza.

In the second stanza, the line begins, ?In the porch I met my father
crying?, and this confirms to the reader that something is wrong, that
something tragic has happened. The second line mentions that he takes
`funerals` in his stride, so that says to me that he?s attended quite
a lot of funerals even though he?s not that old. The final line, ?And
Big Jim Evans saying it was a hard blow?, leads me to believe that Big
Jim Evans is a close friend and also that he is quite large suggested
by the adjective `Big` to descri...

... middle of paper ...

...o poems `Mid-Term Break` and `Digging` are both good poems,
which are both about families. `Mid-Term Break` is about when he
leaves college and returns home to find out the news about his little
brother. `Digging` is about his grandfather and how he?s getting old
and finding work difficult, so both poems are about family, but quite
different circumstances. The layout of the two poems is very
different. `Mid-Term Break` being very straight forward, just having
three lines to each stanza and `Digging` being completely opposite and
following no strategic pattern.

Overall I think that `Mid-Term Break` is a better poem, as I find it
more serious and was personally more effective by this poem due to it
being quite sad talking about his brother and that last line, ?A four
foot box, a foot for every year?, which is a very emotional last line
to finish a poem.

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