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Compare and Contrast the poems "Digging" and "Mid-Term Break" written by Seamus Heaney.

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Introduction

Compare and Contrast the poems "Digging" and "Mid-Term Break" written by Seamus Heaney. Seamus Heaney was born on April 13, 1939. He is the eldest of nine children, to Margaret and Patrick Heaney. He lived on the family farm, Mossbawn, about 30 miles northwest of Belfast in County Derry. He attended the local school at Anahorish until 1957, and then he enrolled at Queen's College, Belfast and took a first in English there in 1961. In August of 1965 he married Marie Devlin. In 1967 he his first child, Michael, was born and a year later he second son was born, Christopher. The poem "Digging" tells of Seamus's thoughts about his future and his dream of becoming a writer instead of following the family tradition of farming. The poem starts with Seamus describing the way the a pen fits in his hand as "snug as a gun." He uses this to say that he knows writing is right for him. He uses the word "gun" to emphasis the problems of violence that there is in Ireland at the time of him writing the poem. In the second verse Heaney describes sounds from his father who was digging below. He uses the word "rasping" to describe the sound made when the spade it "sinks into the gravelly ground." In the next line "my father, digging. I look down" says he recognises the sound of his father digging because it is such a common sound. ...read more.

Middle

This is Heaney's way of saying he is not up to the job of farming. The final verse starts the same as the first verse but the last line is the most important because "I'll dig with it." This line says he will make his family proud because he will write poems that will make a difference. Also by this line will know that Heaney will try to put his poetry to good use by helping in his own way to highlight problems in Ireland around this time. The poem "Mid-Term Break" is an incredibly sad poem. Mid-Term Break was written By Seamus Heaney to help himself over come his grieving he felt when his brother died it is also could have been written to commemorate his brother's memory. The poem begins with the word "morning" in the first line, but it is two o'clock by the end of the verse, showing that hours have passed in waiting with Heaney not knowing what happened and being left by himself in the sick bay. "Morning" could have meant for the word mourning which was to happen later in the poem. The mood is set in the second line by the line "Counting bells knelling classes to a close". He does this to put across the idea of sounds from a funeral. He also uses alliteration of "c" to make his message more potent. ...read more.

Conclusion

The final line stands out of the rest of the poem. Almost every word is special so that the reader must take in the line's message and the shock and deep grief that the family must have felt. There is shock for the reader reading it for the first time also, when they discover who has died and that he was only four years old. The Heaney's four-year-old brother who suffered a hard hit to the head from a speeding car was well written in the poem. He uses a very emotive last line "A four foot box, a foot for every year." This quotation is describing the coffin that his brother was laying in. this is a very blunt and hard-hitting message. Also because this is the last line it is the line that will stick with them. These have many differences but also have many similarities. Both the poems tell a story that will dramatically change Heaney's life and they also both describe events or problems that happened in his childhood. Both the poems also include vivid descriptions of his family and in particular vividly describe his father. The contrasts between the two poems is that ii "Mid term break" it is a very sad real life event where as "Digging" is an experience that only he experienced where as "Mid-Term Break" affected many other people. Alex Botterill 11B ...read more.

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