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Discuss the emotions presented in at least three of Seamus Heaney’s poems including “Mid Term Break”.

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Introduction

Discuss the emotions presented in at least three of Seamus Heaney's poems including "Mid Term Break". Seamus Heaney has many different emotions littered throughout many of his poems. Strong emotions can be seen in the poems "Death of a Naturalist" "Blackberry Picking" "Mid Term Break" "Follower" and "Digging". In "Follower" and "Digging" Heaney displays emotions of admiration as he describes his father on the farm. Whilst in "Mid Term Break" he feels sadness as he writes about the death of his brother. In "Death of a Naturalist" he feels happiness and delight when collecting frogspawn but fear during an encounter with frogs and in "Blackberry Picking" he feels joy and happiness when he picks blackberries but pain and anguish when they rot. All these emotions are conveyed through the poems, which gives you a vivid encounter of Heaney growing up. Happiness is a strong emotion exhibited during Heaney's poems. This is evident in the poem "Blackberry Picking" where Heaney shows great delight in picking the berries. Heaney describes the taste of the berries as, "its flesh was sweet". This sensuous image is so powerful the reader can almost taste the berry. ...read more.

Middle

The words "sweet" and "sour" contrast each other and emphasise the sadness of the rotting berries. When the poet "felt like crying" he would remember the sadness of the time and how much it effected him. Similarly sadness is felt in "Mid Term Break" where he tells us about the death of his brother. In the poem Heaney refers to his brother as the "corpse". This shows how hurt Heaney was, he couldn't even refer to him as body or brother. The sadness of the event is depicted all the way through out the family, " I met my father crying/ He had always taken funerals in his stride". This was said as Heaney returned home to see is father. This emphasises how hard the death hit Heaney's family as his father the tower of strength was crying showing weakness. During both poems Heaney shows a sense of anger and denial. The emotion of sadness represents two cases in Heaney's life where he felt down, and this takes the reader into Heaney's life making the poems very powerful. Seamus Heaney also demonstrates fear during his poems. In "Death of a Naturalist" Heaney feels fear against the frogs that never usually scared him until now. ...read more.

Conclusion

Collectively loss of innocence is shown as Heaney growing up and finding out about the evils of the world. It is another complex emotion displayed in Heaney's poems. One of the last emotions demonstrated in the poems is acceptance. In "Digging" Heaney accepts how he cannot continue the family trade but has to follow his chosen trade as a writer. Heaney tells us how he feels comfortable as a writer, "Between my finger and my thumb the squat pen rests". The quote tells us how affluent he feels with the pen in his hand and this is the trade he has to follow. Heaney tells us how he will, "dig with" the pen and be as brilliant as his father but with what he chooses to do. Heaney accepts that he can't carry on the family tradition and has to have guts to admit this. When Heaney accepts that he will not be a farmer he realised that although he loved nature he knew it wouldn't be his life's work. Altogether there are many different strong emotions used in Heaney's poems ranging from happiness to sadness and fear. From admiration to inferiority. All these emotions are described and portrayed in a powerful and meaningful way so as the reader can have an insight to what Heaney's life was like. ...read more.

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