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By close reference to the poems Mid-Term Break,(TM) by Seamus Heaney, and Out, Out,(TM) by Robert Frost, compare the way the poets respond to the death of a young person.

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By close reference to the poems 'Mid-Term Break,' by Seamus Heaney, and 'Out, Out,' by Robert Frost, compare the way the poets respond to the death of a young person. Seamus Heaney was born in County Derry, Northern Ireland in April 1939. He grew up in the country and this is where much of his poetry is set. Heaney continues to write and lives in Dublin. His widespread success was thanks to poems about his life in Northern Ireland and hints of the sectarian divide can be found in some of his poems. In 1995, Heaney was given the Nobel Prize for literature and he won the Whitbread Book of The Year award twice. In 2006, he won the T.S. Eliot prize for his volume, District and Circle. Robert Frost was born in California on 26th March 1874. His poems were inspired by his beautiful surroundings in New Hampshire and the terrible losses he suffered throughout his life as his parents, wife and children died. He received the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1923, 1930, 1937 and 1943. He died on 29th January 1963 in Boston, Massachusetts. Despite the fact Frost and Heaney were from very different countries and periods, they both discover what it is like to feel the death of a young person and discuss their feelings in their poems, 'Out, Out,' and 'Mid-Term Break.' Both poems talk about true incidents but in different ways. 'Mid-Term Break,' is about the death of Heaney's four year old brother who dies, while Heaney is at boarding school, after he is hit by a car. ...read more.


The tone is angry and frustrated at society throughout the poem and it reads like a newspaper report. Frost doe not seem to express the same personal grief or sadness at the death, unlike 'Mid-Term Break'. There are many strong images in 'Mid-Term Break' to help you imagine the scene. The phrase 'bells knelling,' is imagery as the word 'knell,' is usually used to describe funeral bells. It is letting us know something bad is going to happen. The word 'morning,' also has various meanings as it can mean mourning the death of someone, like in the poem. The image of, 'the baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pram,' shows that despite the tragic event, Heaney realises life continues to go on around him. The use of local language like, 'hard blow,' and 'sorry for your trouble,' and the use of neighbours names makes you imagine the close knit community Heaney lives in. As the tone changes, the images also change. When Heaney goes to visit his brother 'snowdrops and candles soothed the beside.' This is an image for the innocence of the boy. The metaphor 'a poppy bruise,' is a symbol not only for how the bruise looked, but the poppy is also the symbol used by the Royal British Legion and stands for the loss of innocent life in a war. The simile 'the four foot box as in a cot,' describes how peaceful the boy looked. The final line 'a four foot box, a foot for every year,' is a powerful image as we learn the young age of the boy. ...read more.


The first few lines reflect the actions of the saw and the rhythm also reflects this. There is a lot of punctuation in these first few lines. The line 'and nothing happened: day was all but done,' is end stopped to add to the tension. The enjambment in this part of the poem also builds the tension. As the hand is cut, and the boy's life broken, the rhythm is also broken. The hyphens, commas, full stops and exclamation marks show the sudden panic of the situation. The rhythm slows again as the doctor arrives and the boy dies. Both these poems deal with the death of a young person in different ways. Heaney describes how the others around him feel and the poem is impersonal until he sees his brother and is able to express his grief. The use of poetic devices makes the poem more shocking and the slow rhythm gives the poem a suitable mood. In contrast to this the free verse of Frost's poem makes it feel like a newspaper report and without the use of names or description of feelings the poem feels impersonal throughout. The poet does not use many poetic devices but the poem seems also gory and violent due to Frosts descriptions. Heaneys poem however is calmer and more innocent. For these reasons I prefer Heaneys poem as it makes you sympathise with the situation better. Frosts poem is almost more of a political outcry as he is trying to tell society to stop letting young children work and he does not really deal with feelings on the death. ?? ?? ?? ?? Laura Abernethy 12U Ms Brett English ...read more.

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