In this essay I am going to analyse the language of the poem and discuss, in more detail, the techniques used to convey the real sadness of the situation.
Poems, I have a hard back copy of this classic Heaney book, one of my prize possessions because it is signed by him in black ink.
I fully recommend this paperback Opened Ground as it gives the reader a chance to scan all of his early poems, including Mid-Term Break, and on into the maturer work.
This book also includes his Nobel prize speech. Analysis A poem with an ambiguous title, Mid-Term Break appears on the page as an orderly set of tercets, finished off with a single line, as if underlining everything that has gone before. Perhaps the poet wanted a neat, arranged form to control what could be a seriously upsetting scenario?
So, twenty two lines with an echo of traditional iambic pentameter in each stanza, plus odd bits of occasional anapaests and spondees to reflect the varying emotions at play.
The second line is interesting as it contains both alliteration and assonance, plus the combination of the hard c and silent k suggest a confusion of sorts.
Why is the speaker in the sick bay in the first place? Knelling is a word more often associated with church funerals alternatives would have been tolling or peeling or ringing. Stanzas six and seven stand out - the syntax alters in stanza six to meet the contrasting circumstances as the speaker enters the room where the little body lies.
He is metaphorically wearing the poppy as a bruise. Note the punctuation and enjambment play a particular role in slowing everything down, carrying us on to the next stanza and that final devastating line.
Further Analysis - Stanzas 1 - 4 How does grief affect those family members and friends close to us? In Mid-Term Break Seamus Heaney takes the reader right into the bosom of the family and provides first hand observations of people present at home, following the death of his young brother.
The speaker has to sit in a sick bay with little to do but listen to the ominous sound of bells - foretelling of doom?
The word knelling implies that the occasion is solemn. This is a little bit morbid, a touch ironic, because the title tells of a break, a holiday away from responsibility and formality.
When we are told the neighbours, and not family, are the ones taking him home the intrigue deepens. Atmosphere and tension are building by the second stanza as we learn of the father, the patriarch, being reduced to tears, and a family friend, Big Jim Evans, affirming the difficulty of the occasion.
Heaney softens the mood slightly by introducing us to a baby in the third stanza but this is countered when old men offer their hands to shake.
Compare the role of father with mother in this respect, at opposite ends of the grieving spectrum.
The next day however he feels compelled to go upstairs to have one last personal meeting. Snowdrops are the first flowers to show in winter, bursting through the cold earth, sparked by the increasing light. They are a symbol of hope - even in the depths of darkness life prevails.
Candles are associated with prayer. The use of the word soothed reflects the healing qualities of the peaceful room where the body lies. Poppies are linked to peace and also are a source for opiates which ease pain.
Because the car hit the boy directly on the head there are no unsightly scars; the boy reminds the speaker of when he was a baby in his cot.Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney The title’s play on the word break (‘time off school ’) refers more poignantly to a tragedy to which Heaney was exposed at the age of fourteen and led to a moment of severance that would affect his whole life.
- Midterm Break Interp “Mid-Term Break” Seamus Heaney’s “Mid-Term Break” is an extremely tear-jerking poem. The story begins and ends in a very depressing manner, while in between we are treated to a very vivid and blunt view of life and how it can all come to an abrupt end.
Seamus Heaney is widely recognized as one of the major poets of the 20th century. A native of Northern Ireland, Heaney was raised in County Derry, and later lived for many years in Dublin.
He was the author of over 20 volumes of poetry and. Heaney concentrates on observed details and it is the accumulation of these details that helps to make the poem so memorable.
An elegiac tone is established at the beginning of the poem. An elegy is a poem written to commemorate a dead person who is traditionally resurrected in a benign landscape. The first poem I am going to study is a poem by Seamus Heaney called Mid-Term Break.
Seamus Heaney was born in County Derry into a farming background. He attended St. Columb’s College in Derry where he was a border. POETRY; Seamus Heaney; Mid-term Break; Analysis; Title.
Analysis. Quick revise. This poem deals with the death of a young child, who is only 4 years old and how Heaney, as a child, reacts to this event. In the opening stanza Heaney, as a child, is waiting in the sick bay at school to be taken home.