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Comparison of pre 1914 and current poems

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The two poems I chose to compare are The Laboratory, and Mid-Term break. The laboratory is a poem from the pre 1914's, in 1845, whereas, Mid-Term Break was written in the present time. I am going to compare the poems, and this will show the differences and similarities between poems from before 1914, and the present time. To analyse the poems I used FLIRTS, which is an abbreviation for form, language, imagery, rhyme, tone, and subject. Secondly, I compared the form, or structures of the poems. In both poems, there is lots of reliance on structure for effect, however, the structure of both poems is very different, and the use of structure in both poems is very different. The first poem's structure I analysed is Mid-Term break. The poem is in tercets, which means stanzas of three lines, however, I feel that the poem should not be structured this way. I feel that the poem should actually be structured in quartets, as this would make much more sense, as many phrases which should be on one line, are actually split up in 2 stanzas, for example, "By old men standing up to shake my hand and tell me they were sorry for my trouble." I think that this should be on the same line; however, it is spilt up into two stanzas after the word hand. I think that the poet, Seamus Heaney, may have actually does this purposefully, to show the confusion in the boy's mind. I feel that this confusion shows that the boy is so stricken with grief, and is so shocked; it has actually turned into confusion, and could even lead to insanity. At the end of the poem, the final stanza is not in tercets, instead, there is one single line, and I feel that there is a reason for this. I feel that the poet may be showing the end of the poem is fast, I feel that it does not only show the end of the poem, but it could also be the poet showing the end of a life. ...read more.


She wants her ex partner to watch his lover die in agony, which I feel is evil. This also may be the poet showing the woman's control over the poison, and therefore, her ex lover. The poet also may be revealing in the quote "let death be felt and the proof remain" the speaker is so caught up in anticipation and fantasy that she forgets to realise that at the punishment for murder is death. Also, "and the proof remain" may be showing that death will always remain, and can never be undone, so the woman should think about the consequences, or it may be showing that the woman does not care, as long as her ex lover goes through the pain she is in. This may also be shown in the quote "Brand, burn up, bite into its grace," which are all powerful, violent verbs, and the alliterative "B" sounds very violent, and aggressive. Another way the poet may be showing that the speaker is crazy, or that she is evil as she enjoys death is in "remember her dying face." This sounds like she will savour her moment of triumph, which is again, suggesting that she is evil. The language used in the poem also suggests that the woman now only cares about the death of her rival, and that all of her riches mean nothing, "take all my jewels, gorge gold to your fill," which I feel again, links money to evil. Finally, at the end of the poem, "lest horror it brings," she may be showing that death brings horror, and she does not want to remember it, which again, shows that deep down, she may be a good person. In Mid-Term Break, there is much less use of language for effect, however, there are some instances, such as in the title, "Mid-Term Break." I feel that this may be a subliminal message for saying that now that his brother has died, it is a break from all the grief, caring and worrying which was previously done all the time. ...read more.


The final thing I compared in the poems is the subject, or theme of the poems, which are the same, death. However, the theme of the poems is also very different, as in the different poems, people are on different sides of the death. In Mid-Term break, the story is true, and is what Seamus Heaney had to go through when he was younger. His four year old brother was hit by a car, and later, died. Seamus Heaney had not seen his brother for months before the accident, as he had been away at boarding school, and this hurt him even more, that he had not spoken to his brother in months, and that he did not care, and now that he had been taken away, it tore open his heart. I feel that the poem may have been written to show that death can be extremely quick, and that you can lose anyone you love in seconds, and that if you do, it will break your heart. I feel that the moral of this poem is that you should always appreciate, and treasure everyone you love, no matter what happens, and that you should always love them, as they can be taken away in seconds, and if they are, it will break your heart. On the other hand, in The Laboratory, the story is about a woman who has broken up with her partner, and how he has left her for a new, more beautiful woman. I feel that this sends the woman insane, and now, all she wants to do is to kill his new lover, and watch his heart breaking, just as hers did. In this poem, the woman is driven only by hatred, and is now hell bent on the death of her ex partner's new lover. I feel that this poem may be about relationships, and what can happen if you do not make a wise decision about who you have relations with. ...read more.

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