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I have decided to look at the poems "Mid Term Break" by "Seamus Heaney" and "Out, Out" by "Robert Frost

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Introduction

Poetry Coursework I have decided to look at the poems "Mid Term Break" by "Seamus Heaney" and "Out, Out" by "Robert Frost". Both of the poems are about the tragic death of a young boy. However, they are written in different ways and both have conflicting viewpoints. "Mid Term Break" is an autobiographical, a personal account of the death of Heany's younger brother in Derry. While "Out, Out" is set in the idyllic countryside of Vermont, by one of America's most famous poets. The poem also has a neutral, objective point of view. Robert Frost's life was filled with tragedy, which may be indicative of his views about death in the poem, which are that Death will happen and we have to get over that fact and continue on our lives. The titles of both poems,"Mid Term Break" and"Out, Out" are meaningful and essential to the poems. "Mid Term Break" is ironic, as boys at boarding school did not usually get a Mid-tem break, yet Heaney had an unwelcome one. Holidays usually give feelings of happiness but this time it brought only sadness "In the porch I met my father crying". "Out, Out" was taken from Shakespeare's play Macbeth. It portrays Frost's outlook on life and death, which is fragile and easily extinguished. In "Mid Term Break" there is a continuous three-line stanza layout apart from 1 single line at the end. The poem lacks detail about the accident and instead in focuses on the emotions of the people in the poem. ...read more.

Middle

It makes us realize what has happened to the baby but in a less painful way. In the poem "Out, Out" there is a unfeeling and insensitive tone "and that ended it" it shows little compassion. It is also unsympathetic, almost as if Frost thought it was the child fault, that he should of been more careful instead of feeling sorry for the boy. There is also guilt and regret in places " call it a day, I wish they might have said" He wished someone would of told him to come inside and then he would still be aright. The poem had a sense of coldness and callous about it " And since they were not the one dead, turned to their affairs" It was almost as if they didn't care as long as they were alright and that there was no reason for time to stop just because someone had died. Throughout the poem, the tone is conversational. There is a lot of direct speech in "Out, Out" that we usually don't see that often in poems " Don't let him cut my hand off The doctor when he comes. Don't let him, sister" This gives a more personal feel to the poem and it lets us see the boy's real emotions. "Mid Term break" and "Out. Out" have very different tones throughout the poems. "Mid Term Break has a very sorrowful tone and there is a lot of innocence in the poem " The baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pram" while ...read more.

Conclusion

The poem almost gives us the impression that death is nothing, it will always happen and there is no point mourning over someone who has died. The poem is a cold and insensitive outlook on death. Out of the two poems I felt that "Mid Term Break" affected me more. I thought it made us feel heartbroken for Heaney and his family. The words and phrases used throughout the poem leave us feeling compassion towards Heaney but I think that it was the last line which made the poem so unique, "A four foot box, a foot for every year," the realisation that the person who has died was only a child, a four-year-old child has a huge impact. The line leaves us stunned and shocked. It is a very effective last line that adds to the brilliant use of structure throughout the poem. Although "Out, Out" did affect me in some aspects. The great uses of phrases are used in exactly the right places and make the poem very effective. My favourite line in the poem is " Then the boy saw all Since he was old enough to know, big boy Doing a man's work, though a child at heart He saw all spoiled." This line makes us feel so sympathetic towards the boy as he is only a child but he is doing a man's work. If the child was living his life as child instead of out working like a man he would still be alive and I think that is what makes this poem so effective. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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