[Solved] mid term break analysis

Analysis of Mid-Term Break Poem by Seamus Heaney. There are stories in the poem and story in the poem “Mid- Term Break” by Seamus Heaney is about a young boy who just come back from boarding school had loss his brother in an accident. The death of the brother had give difference emotional respond by the family member about the death . Literary device make poem better and make it interesting to read . Furthermore, there are a lot of literary devices that use by Seamus in this poem.

He use personification in this poem . Personification is a figure of speech in which human characteristics are attributed to an abstract quality, animal, or inanimate objects (Personification, Encyclopedia Britannica eb. com). For examples that related to the poem is  “Counting bells knelling classes to a close”, the bells being attributed to human characteristic which is “knelling”. The word knelling is often associated with death (as with the “knelling” of a funeral bell) so this adds a morbid tone to the opening of the poem (Mid Term Break , Teachnet).

He also uses metaphor in this poem. Metaphor is a figure of speech in which an implied comparison is made between two unlike things that actually have something in common (About. com). Examples for the metaphor is “the corpse stanched” and “candles soothed the bedside. ”. The candles is use to create the image of sorrow and with the uses of metaphor the writer will create the visual imagery in our mind which is the candles produce a dim light that put the numb situation in that house. Read more in Online Writing « What is Your Greatest Fear? Short Story Settings »

By reading the poem also we can see that Seamus Heaney only use simile once to compare the coffin to a cot, “He lay in the four foot box as in a cot. ” Simile is a figure of speech in which two fundamentally unlike things are explicitly compared, usually in a phrase introduced by “like” or “as. ” . This tells us that the boy is four years old as they had mentioned that A four foot box, a foot for every year meaning that the boy has grown to four foot which is four years. This poem is organised with three lines per stanza, almost like an unrhymed tercet with the exception of the last line.

This structure make the last line stand out more so than the rest which shows the readers the importance of this line. In this poem there is no specific rhythm or rhyme pattern. However the last word in the poem rhymes with the last word in the stanza before. As mentioned before, Heaney used structure to outline the importance of the last line, but poems are often not read but heard and so this rhyme allows listeners to notice the emphasis on the last line. ( Analysis of “Mid-Term Break” by Seamus Heaney, Bukisa). In this poem there are several important themes such as time, age, family, pain, love and most of all death.

Death is an awkward subject that most want to avoid in life but it is also one that dominates people lives the most. We live because we don’t want to die. However there are times when unexpected death occurs, and in those times it’s the victim’s family that suffers the most. This poem takes the audience along on the speaker’s journey to accepting his beloved little brother’s death. Though family, age and love seems to be opposites of death and pain, one side cannot exist without the other. Therefore, in this poem family, love and age are all crucial themes. .( Analysis of “Mid-Term Break” by Seamus Heaney, Bukisa).

Conclusion, this poem contain show that the dead of family member cannot be easily accepted by other family member because loss of the love one is something sad and sorrow . The death can be happen every time and everywhere . The choices of language and literary devices are very appropriate and served their purpose, especially in emphasising the last line which wraps up the poem on one bitter sweet note. Read more: http://writinghood. com/online-writing/analysis-of-mid-term-break-poem-by-seamus-heaney/#ixzz2Aamu5n1d http://www. sheerpoetry. co. uk/gcse/seamus-heaney/notes-on-selected-poems/mid-term-break

Mid-term Break ————————————————- BY MICHAEL WOODS MID-TERM BREAK The subject of this poem is the death of Seamus Heaney’s younger brother, Christopher who was killed by a car at the age of four. It is a tremendously poignant poem and its emotional power derives in large measure form the fact that Heaney is very muted and understated with respect to his own emotional response. He chooses to focus more upon the reaction of his parents in order to convey the shocking impact of the death of their little boy. Usually, we must careful not to assume the “I” in a poem is, in fact, the poet.

In this case, though, we may be sure that Mid-Term Break is purely and intensely autobiographical. This beautiful lyric poem is certainly enormously moving. It presents an elder brother having to deal with a terrible trauma. As is frequently the case with Heaney, there is an arresting amalgam of manliness and tenderness in the writing that lends it both warmth and astringency at the same time. This poem is powerfully moving because of its emotional restraint and control of tone. 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. Here, though, the little boy is recalled with clarity and realism; Heaney finishes with the rueful and terrible equation “A four foot box, a foot for every year”, which starkly conveys the shocking loss of a young child. The poem opens with a line that might easily describe any child but the second line introduces a darkly foreboding atmosphere: “I sat all morning in the college sick bay Counting bells knelling classes to a close. The word “knell” is appropriate in the context of a poem about death because it is the sound of a funeral bell. We do not normally associate school bells with death but this day was to prove horrifically different for the poet. The rhythm and alliteration also reinforce the mournful tone. The ‘c’ an ‘l’ sounda, as well as the internal rhyme of “bells” and “knelling” help to suggest both the idea of finality and of time seeming to slow down. The poet is driven home by his neighbours and not his parents, another unusual event preparing the reader for the idea that something is terribly wrong.

The fact that Heaney remembers the precise time, “two o’clock” is convincing as we all tend to remember precise timings when recalling traumatic, like changing events. Stanza two concentrates on the poet’s father’s emotional response who is “crying”. Heaney tells us that his father “had always taken funerals in his stride” but this death is unnatural as well as personal. The be bereft of a little child is unbearable for the normally rock solid father who would, we assume, be the sort of man to offer words of comfort to others just as “Big Jim Evans” offers his to Heaney’s family in “saying it was a hard blow. (line 6) There is a terrible double meaning in the phrase “hard blow” because Jim Evans, by referring to the emotional impact of Christopher’s death, also unwittingly uses language that recalls the impact of the car that killed him. The third stanza presents us with another contrast, the baby’s innocent joy at seeing his elder brother. Remembering the title of the poem, we might be tempted to hope, along with the Heaney family that this event is some terrible nightmare that might be woken up from. The baby’s normal behaviour, though, only accentuates the reality of the situation.

From a technical point of view, Heaney’s skilful use of the iambic pentameter helps to emphasise the family drama that is played out in the poem. The baby’s innocent obliviousness to the tragic circumstance of his elder brother’s return from school is captured in, “The baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pram. ”  The bouncy emphatic rhythm is in direct contrast to the opening stanza’s measured pace. The unusual aspect of the situation is developed further in lines 8-11 as the young Heaney is “embarrassed” by the proffering of sympathy from “old men”.

Their awkwardness is economically conveyed through their euphemistic use of language in telling him that “there were sorry” for his “trouble” (line10). The sibilant alliteration in “Whispers informed strangers I was the eldest” (line 11) captures the hushed, muted atmosphere in the house. Heaney goes on to concentrate upon his mother’s reaction to her little boys’ death who says nothing but holds his hand in her own as she “coughed out angry tearless sighs” (line 13).

The implication here is that she has cried so much that there is nothing more to cry but incensed by the driver’s failure to avoid her son. Line 14 begins with another precise time reference and the reality of the family having to receive “the corpse”. This is the first time that we know that the “trouble” is connected with. The sixth stanza recounts the poet’s visit to his brother’s room. Heaney conveys the feeling of being unable to name the reality of the situation: “Next morning I went up into the room. ” (LINE 16)

He does not go on to say that this is where his little brother is lying dead. Instead the surrounding details emphasise the atmosphere of quiet as the boys are reunited after “six weeks”. The snowdrops and candles are symbolic of life but they are also ritualistically funereal. The word “soothed” may be applicable to both the idea that the flowers and candles are placed as a comfort to the dead boy but they are also for the solace of the grieving family. Unable to articulate the reality of his brother’s death, the poet chooses to present his earlier self, noticing that he was “Paler” (line 18).

Another flower image draws attention to the apparently insignificant injury that had such a devastating effect, as well as the fragility of life with which the poppy is traditionally associated: “Wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple, He lay in the four foot box as in his cot. No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear. A four foot box, a foot for every year. ” The description here becomes almost unbearably powerful because of the restraint Heaney exercises. The young boy could easily be asleep but, tragically, it is only as if he were asleep.

He will never wake up again. The word “cot”, along with the earlier use of “pram” in stanza three emphasises the unnatural eruption of death into the life of a family with very young children. It also helps to highlight the horror faced by any parent who is predeceased by a child. The final couplet is consistent in tone with the remainder of the poem. Heaney chooses to add a single line stanza to complete the poem that has seven three line stanzas preceding it. The effect of this is to present a terrible equation on its own, something that stands out baldly and inescapably.

Just as there are “No gaudy scars” visible on the poor child’s body, so too there is no lurid concentration upon injury or any self-indulgent displays of grief. The final line is, in a sense, “knocked clear” of the rest of the poem through Heaney’s decision to separate it. There is a heartbreaking logic in the statement that reminds us both of the small stature of the child and the brevity of his young life. As a lyric poem commemorating a terrible event, it is difficult to imagine anything to surpass it for control, truthfulness and austere reverential beauty. http://minwookang. wordpress. om/2011/06/19/poem-analysis-on-mid-term-break-by-seamus-heaney/   Seamus Heaney’s “Mid-term Break” portrays the speaker’s experience of confronting his little brother’s death. Understanding this poem is not as hard as other poems since the meaning is not so complicated. This poem flows similar to a narrative since it is written in first person perspective and continuously describes the scene of the funeral. Through a gloomy tone, the poet depicts two major themes; death and family love. The theme of death is prevalent in this poem. The plot itself is about a younger brother dying by a car accident.

Phrases like “my father was crying” and “sorry for my trouble” show that the dead person is one of the family members and the last line, “A four foot box, a foot for every year,” tells us that the dead one is only four years old. From these two facts readers can possibly assume that this poem is describing the death of a four-year-old brother of the speaker and conveying the tragic emotion. Also, “The baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pram” is ironical yet even more tragic. While all others are serious and crying, the baby doesn’t understand the situation but laughs as playing with the pram.

The child will realize the gravity and sorrow later on, which makes the poem more tragic. Family love is also an important theme in “Mid-term Break. ” Coming back home the speaker meets his family members, who are also having a hard time overcoming the agony. Death is devastating force that drives people into deep depression. However family love is what cures the wounds and stimulates the will to regain energy for living. Here in this poem the speaker says “my mother held my hand” and “In hers and coughed out angry tearless sighs. ” The speaker must have felt a lot of responsibility as the “eldest” mentioned on the previous line.

Even though his heart was tearing apart, he couldn’t wail like kids. Though, in his mother’s hands he could feel relief and cry. Family love becomes a great support whenever there are heart-breaking incidents, as explained in this poem. “Mid-term Break” has many interesting points, obviously Heaney’s elaborations, even from the title. A “mid-term break” is period of a school year when students are relaxed and enjoying their leisure times. A short yet rejoicing respite in the middle of the semester, a mid-term break as the title gives an impression that this poem will have a happy and active mood.

Though, ironically, the poem turns out to be completely sad and also extremely calm. Heaney used visual imageries like “the corpse, stanched” and “candles soothed the bedside” that depict a dark, static picture to create a gloomy mood. Skimming through, one can notice that the structure of the poem is straightforward. Each stanza, except the last one, consists of three lines. At the first glimpse, the poem seems uniform. However, this poem doesn’t follow the ordinary form of tercets since there aren’t any rhymes. For example, “bay,” “close” and “home” of the first stanza doesn’t rhyme at all.

This free verse style enabled Heaney to convey the theme more clearly. If he had used the traiditional form with apparent rhyme schemes, the poem would have sounded a bit more playful and readers would be distracted by the ‘sound’ the poem is presenting. However, since there aren’t any rhymes, readers focus on the words themselves and also the tone is more like a narrative or thorough description rather than a mere poem. There is one more point very exceptional in this poem, which is the last line. The last line has only nine words, “A four foot box, a foot for every year. And it is the last stanza. This structure visually emphasizes the last line, showing that it has much importance. Also, in this poem there is no specific rhythm or rhyme pattern. However the last word in the poem rhymes with the last word of the previous stanza. Hence, it is clear that Heaney gave variation on the poem’s structure to outline the importance of the last line. Moreover, the very last line sums up the much of the whole poem; illustrating the coffin, the speaker is conveying the ambience of extreme sadness. Everyone feels sorrowful when confronting a death of a person.

One would be especially sad when it is a person whom you know, and even more if it is your family. And lastly, if it’s a death of a really young boy who lived only for four years and got killed by an accident, the death is much more tragic. So Heaney used alliteration, assonance and also repetition to add even greater emphasis on the “four foot box,” suggesting how important this line is. This poem, however, has more significance if the poet Seamus Heaney’s life and literary works are put into consideration. Seamus Heaney is an Irish poet who was eeply concerned about his national identity. His literary works in his earlier years are mostly about the identity of Irish people, fighting against the oppression of English influence. Many of his poems were even political in its purpose. Later on, his poems changed its theme to cultural diversity. On the other hand, this poem is different from Heaney’s typical poems. Not about nationalism or about overcoming nationalism, this poem focuses on universal topics: death and family. These themes do not really reflect societal issues.

In some ways, this poem, “Mid-term Break,” isn’t that influential probably why it is less well-known than his other poems. However, universal themes like death are what human beings have been questioning for centuries or even millenniums. Because of this, any one from any culture can understand and appreciate this poem, the reason why this poem is significant. Therefore, “Mid-term Break” by Seamus Heaney is a valuable literary piece because it has deeply and accurately explored the feelings of death and beautifully conveyed the emotion through written language.

Also, the poem shows that love and death cannot be really separated with each other. The more one loves, the more the death of the person hurts. This poem effectively delivered this heartbreaking reality and provided the readers a chance to ponder on meanings of death and family love. http://www. stmonicas. co. uk/Resources/user/docs/English/KS4%20-%20Literature%20Revision/Literature%20Revision/Mid%20Term%20Break%20notes. pdf Mid Term Break Meaning The poem is about the death of Heaney’s infant brother (Christopher) and how people (including himself) reacted to this.

The poem’s title suggests a holiday but this “break” does not happen for pleasant reasons. Metaphorical meaning In the poem Heaney explores people’s unnatural reactions to death. Attitudes and ideas This is an incredibly sad poem. The word ‘break’ suggests holiday but in this case it is far from any happy holiday we can imagine. Heaney talks about his father, who is apparently always strong at other funerals, but is distraught (very upset) by his child’s death, while the mother is too angry to cry. The young Seamus is made uneasy by hand shaking and euphemisms (like “Sorry for my trouble”), and by whispers about him.

When late at night the child’s body is returned Heaney sees this as “the corpse” (not a person). This contrasts wonderfully with the final section of the poem, where he is alone with his brother. Note the personal pronouns “him”, “his”, “he” – as opposed to “the corpse” – this brings a sense of closeness between the two brothers. The calm mood is beautifully shown in the imagery (“Snowdrops/And candles soothed the bedside” – literally they soothed the young Heaney). The flowers are a symbol in the poem, but also in reality for the family (a symbol of new life, after death).

The bruise is seen as not really part of the boy – he is “wearing” it (a metaphor), as if it could come off. Heaney likens the bruise to the poppy, a flower linked with death and soothing of pain (opiates come from poppies). The child appears as if sleeping (a simile). We contrast the ugly “corpse, stanched and bandaged”, which becomes a sleeping child – dead. The last line of the poem is most poignant and skilful – the size of the coffin is the measure of the child’s life. Language As stated above: imagery, metaphors, and similes.

Also, assonance and alliteration are used to emphasise sounds and feelings. For example ‘bells knelling’ is assonance and emphasises the sound of funeral bells and the idea of time dragging on. Themes Life/Death, sadness and relationships. Structure The poem has a clear formal structure, in three line stanzas. There are occasional rhymes but the poem’s last two lines form a rhyming couplet, and emphasizes the shortness of the child’s life. Many of the lines run on (enjambement) – they are stopped only in the last line of a stanza, and in three cases the lines run on from one stanza to the next. ttp://www. studymode. com/essays/Mid-Term-Break-Poetry-Analysi-466146. html Mid Term Break Poetry Analysis By erikamuldoon, Nov 2010 | 4 Pages (829 Words) | 517 Views The poem ‘Mid- Term Break’ describes the phenomenal loss that a family is suffering from the death of a child and brother. It is written from a young boy’s perspective as it continues to inform the audience of the grieve suffering that the family is currently enduring. It focuses on the feelings of the family and the funeral being the first time that the young boy has seen his brother since a car accident.

The structure of the poem ‘Mid-Term Break’ positions its audiences in a specific way throughout the use of structure. The following poem includes 8 stanzas each 3 sentences long. However, towards the end of the poem standing alone is the last stanza, it includes only 1 sentence. This was separated from the rest of the text to emphasize the ending of the poem as it is possibly the most important line. It reinforces the devastation of the event that has occurred whilst highlighting the impact that the death has had on the family. Additionally, each stanza has only 2 sentence most.

This allows the author to move time quickly. This is important within the poem as it often changes scenery quite quickly and due to the stanza’s being short, this allows the author to do so. It is clear that the poem has a slight lack of punctuation as the sentence structure is incorrect. Each doesn’t end with a full stop although, starts with a capital letter. This demonstrates that the boy may not have learnt much punctuation whilst at the same time gives its audience an insight into the young age of the boy. The overall tone of the poem is sombre and depressing.

Although we are soothed throughout mid way of the poem through Heaney’s use of language, the majority of the poem is filled with deep sadness due to the life of the infant that is cut short. Moreover, the title of the poem is slightly confusing as it suggests a ‘break’ meaning holidays or happiness however; reading the poem it contradicts in the fact that this ‘break’ was not filled with happiness or joy. http://www. helium. com/items/1778745-a-poignant-poem-by-seamus-heaney Poetry analysis: Mid-Term Break, by Seamus Heaney by Liz Allen Created on: March 20, 2010   Last Updated: July 02, 2012

With the title ‘Mid-Term Break’ Seamus Heaney suggests that this is a poem focusing on a childhood memory. This was, however, no happy break from school. The first stanza does not explain what the reason for the break was, but Heaney’s wait in the sick bay sets up a feeling that something is wrong. The use of the word ‘knelling’ rather than ‘tolling’ for the school bell has connotations of death. We discover during the course of the poem that Heaney was returning home for the funeral of his younger brother who had been killed in a road accident.

The second stanza shows how devastating this tragic accident was for Heaney’s family. Heaney remembers that he met his father ‘crying- / He had always taken funerals in his stride’. The third stanza, in contrast, opens with a description of the baby of the family that ‘cooed and laughed and rocked the pram’, showing that in some aspects family life went on as usual amid the grief. The third and fourth stanzas are linked by enjambment and by the description of Heaney’s feelings on confronting those who had come to pay their respects.

Heaney felt ’embarrassed / By old men’ as they stood up, shook his hand and expressed their sorrow. It must indeed have been strange and probably uncomfortable for a young boy to find himself in a situation of reversed roles. He was aware of ‘whispers’ as acquaintances told strangers that he was the eldest child of the family and attended boarding school. The fourth and fifth stanzas are also linked by enjambment and show how different Heaney’s mother’s reaction to the event was from his father’s.

As she held his hand she ‘coughed out angry tearless sighs’, conveying the sense that she was too upset to cry but sensitive to the need of her eldest child for comfort. In the fifth stanza Heaney describes in a matter-of-fact way that the ambulance brought the ‘corpse’, giving a sense that at first Heaney could perhaps not think of the body as being that of his brother. The tone changes, however, in the sixth stanza as Heaney goes up alone to see his brother’s body the following morning. He describes the presence of snowdrops and candles as soothing the bedside; this is a transferred epithet, as they actually soothed his feelings.

Heaney again uses enjambment to link this stanza with the seventh, mentioning that his brother now looked paler than the last time he had seen him six weeks previously. He uses the metaphor ‘Wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple’, poppies being the colour of blood as well as a symbol of the dead. Heaney uses the word ‘box’ rather than coffin, and is reminded as he looks at his brother of the way he saw him in his cot. The final line of the seventh stanza tells us that the little boy had no ‘gaudy


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