Comparison of We Are Seven by William Wordsworth and Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney

Comparison of We Are Seven by William Wordsworth and Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney

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Comparison of We Are Seven by William Wordsworth and Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney

William Wordsworth was a defining member of the English Romantic
Movement. As we can see from reading his poem, his personality and
love of nature is conveyed. Wordsworth was probably inspired from his
upbringing and most of his mature life living in the Lake District
with picturesque landscapes influencing a true love of nature. Some
describe Wordsworth as a profoundly earnest and sincere thinker who
displays a high seriousness tempered with tenderness and a love of

Seamus Heaney had a rather conflicting upbringing as he also grew up
in the country- watching American soldiers in the local fields around
1944. Heaney has taken this image of himself as a consciousness
suspended between history and ignorance as representative of the
nature of his poetic life and development. Heaney has also worked as a
professor of Poetry at Oxford University and has also won the Nobel
Prize for literature.

The poem Mid-Term Break is about memories of death from a child's
point of view and the difficulty with other people's emotions. From my
research I have found out that the poem is based upon a real event in
Heaney's life and what he can remember from his own childhood. The
difficulties he faced included coping with his own mother's anger -
anger not with her son but with God for letting her child die. Heaney
can only be alone in order to mourn along with the 'snowdrops and
candles'. We can come to the conclusion that this may have been the
first experience of death of someone close to him.

Similarly, We are Seven is about a young girl who is convincing the
reader that her family consists of seven although a few of them are
dead. Death links these two poems together along with the sorrow and
mixed emotions of losing a loved one who was very close to you in each
case a brother and also sisters. It is a genuinely moving piece which
is a realisation of the reality of situations happening in the world

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today - recently the tsunami tragedy in Southern Asia and the 'War
Against Terror.' The last line emphasises the fact that when someone
does die they are not missing from a persons thoughts and feeling.

Mid-Term Break is set out in 7 verses which each contain equally 3
lines. There is also a short line in the end, which delivers an
immensely dramatic impact and leaves the reader in suspense. The poem
is from the boy's perspective as he travels thought the mourning
period meeting people along the way. The whole family are united in
mourning for the young boy who has been killed.

"Counting bells knelling classes to a close."

The exact meaning of the word knelling is 'to ring slowly and
solemnly, especially for a funeral; toll.' The use of this word
becomes very significant as the theme of the poem surrounds the
funeral of a younger brother. As it is set in school, one would
imagine the innocence of a school bell-but there are hidden depths
when we realise what is further going to happen and the purpose of
using the word especially near the beginning. We can also see that the
poem is not written in rhyme, which also adds to the event of death
and dullness in the atmosphere.

On the other hand, We are Seven is written with a beat and rhyme
adding to the purpose of the poem, we can see that when someone is
trying to convince, they have a certain beat about their voice which
is portrayed in the poem clearly. It is a sort of dialogue between the
girl and the reader, which is an effect well used by Wordsworth to
involve the reader.

The first thoughts you get when you read the title of Mid-Term Break
are of young innocent school children playing and having their whole
life ahead of them but the happiness fades away after the first few
lines as we become aware of the situation. We are Seven can portray a
family bond or a friendship in many ways.

In conclusion, I can say that the two poems link in many ways and are
very skillfully written in the way they give impact onto the reader.
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