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“Mid Term Break” by Seamus Heaney and “The Lesson” by Edward Lucie-Smith.

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Introduction

In the course of this essay, I will be looking closely at the particular choices of language used by the poets, comparing the ways in which the poems are written, contrasting the feeling of Heaney and Lucie-Smith about the death of a relative and considering which of the poets are more successful in getting their feeling across and why? These two poems are about two young people facing up to the death of a loved one. The two poems are "Mid Term Break" by Seamus Heaney and "The Lesson" by Edward Lucie-Smith. The two poems are about two young boys facing up to the death of a beloved family member. In "Mid Term Break" it is Heaney's younger brother who dies in a car accident. In "The Lesson" it is Lucie-Smith who receives news of his fathers death. The poets are merely children when these traumatic events occur. These poems express the feelings that the two boys experience when they lose a loved one at that time. ...read more.

Middle

This gives us a sense of foreboding as it is associated with the word foreboding, it also may be a warning to say that someone has died. Heaney uses alliteration with the repetition of the "c". Heaney then gets a lift home by some neighbours. When he arrives he enters the house and is greeted by his father sobbing and obviously in distress. Tension is made because Heaney's father always took funerals easily and showed little emotion. Heaney is then met by a local friend to the family, Jim Evans. He expresses his condolences through a local euphemism "it's a hard blow" He probably is afraid to express his condolences and tries to make it as manly as possible. Heaney then walks into the living room and is met by more older men. They stand to greet him and they shake his hand. This was rare for Heaney because these men were treating him as an equal. This creates more tension. ...read more.

Conclusion

American poet Emily Dickinson's poem "The Bustle In A House." can be compared to Seamus Heaney's "Mid Term Break" Dickinson's poem is actually one sentence, but it has two stanzas and rhyme scheme. Dickinson employs 4 lines stanzas in which the 1st, 2nd and 4th lines are in iambic trimeter. The 3rd line is in iambic tentrometer. In Dickinsons poetry her rhymes are called off rhymes or slant rhymes. The first two lines show the bustle of domestic physical tidying away love. Formal words solemnest and enacted neither the activity or its importance are realised until the second stanza. The poem is full of bite bitterness and desolate sense of loss, presented ironically in terms of such familiar daily activity and this is only brought home in the last two lines. The poem is interlocked with rhyme. In my opinion I believe that Heaney's "Mid Term Break" was more successful in getting his feeling across to me than Lucie-Smith's "The Lesson." Heaney makes the reader stay attentive with all the tension he creates. Also he shocks the reader with his ending line. "A four foot box, a foot for every year." ?? ?? ?? ?? Troy Heaton 12.C. ...read more.

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