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Compare thepoems 'Out, Out' by Robert Frost and 'Mid Term Break' by Seamus Heaney

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Introduction

Compare the poems 'Out, Out' by Robert Frost and 'Mid Term Break' by Seamus Heaney The poems 'Out, Out' by Robert Frost and 'Mid Term Break' by Seamus Heaney both contain many similarities and differences. Both poems tackle the issue of child death, although both from very different perspectives. 'Mid Term Break' has a much more personal approach to the subject as the narrative character is the brother of the deceased as opposed to in 'Out, Out' where the narrator is detached from the characters, being an outsider. 'Out, Out' tells of the events surrounding the death of the child whereas 'Mid Term Break' concentrates on the effects of the child's death on the family and the accident itself is not actually seen. The title of both poems illustrate how although the children in the poems are dead their lives seemed incomplete as 'Out, Out' is an unfinished quote from the play Macbeth and 'Mid Term Break' shows that the term is not yet over. This seems to be the theme that both poems focus on, the pointlessness of the deaths suffered. ...read more.

Middle

Both poems have irregular rhyme schemes. They hardly rhyme at all. This could be because the poets do not want to detract your attention from the main themes; they want to show the importance lays in the content not the structure of the poem. Both poems also use a lot of enjambment. This quickens the pace of the poem. It seems like someone is trying to get all the words out at once because they are so difficult to say. In the instance of 'Mid Term Break' as my mother held my hand In hers and coughed out angry tearless sighs' this is a very moving line where the mothers grief is shown to a maximum level emphasised by the enjambment. Throughout the whole of 'Out, Out' the poem seems to focus on the fact that things do not stop, everything runs on continuously. The structure highlights this fact also. The enjambment in this poem 'And from there those that lifted eyes could count Five mountain ranges one behind the other'. ...read more.

Conclusion

For instance 'So. But the hand was gone already' it makes the reader realise the finality of this boys accident. In 'Mid Term Break' the phrase 'With the corpse, stanched and bandaged by the nurse' shows how the narrator detaches the accident by not using the child's name but replacing it with 'corpse' the anonymity helps him to cope with his grief. Also 'Wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple' is interesting. It is not gory at all and the description of the dead boy is done very tastefully and not gory at all. The poppy is a symbol of remembrance, which links in with the themes of this poem perfectly. Out of both poems, I personally prefer 'Mid Term Break' because it feels more personal to read. I also like the varied language techniques used and the subtlety used to highlight the boys grief. I am not able to empathise as much with the boy in 'Out, Out' even though in some ways it is more tragic, because it does not relate as closely to me as 'Mid Term, Break' does. This could be due to when the poem was written, as it is an older poem. Carys Williams ...read more.

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