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Mid-Term Break and Digging

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Introduction

A Comparison of Mid-Term Break and Digging I am comparing two poems by Seamus Heaney- `Mid-Term Break` and `Digging`. Both of the poems are written about his childhood and his family. The first poem I analysed was `Mid-Term Break`, where the simple and straight forward title `Break` caught my attention suggesting to me that this poem is going to be a positive experience, a break from work, a time to relax. The commencing stanza, the first line reads, "I sat all morning in the college sick bay", which has connotation of depression, illness and suffering suggested from the word `sick`. Also with the reference to college the reader gathers that the boy is in his late teens. Second line, "Counting bells knelling classes to a close", the word `knelling` in that line is associated with funerals and death so we get the feeling that something might be wrong and gather a sense of foreboding at what is to come. The final line, "At two o'clock our neighbours drove me home", is unusual, why are his neighbours driving him home and not his parents? The question why are his parents driving him home this increases the sense of foreboding. ...read more.

Middle

Overall I think the poem is good as it's very serious, but very sad at the same time, talking about his brother and his family's emotions throughout the poem the shock and grief, which they suffered. The second poem I analysed was `Digging`. The title `Digging` is a verb and you would associate digging with; dirt, the past, family and far facts. The commencing stanza, first line, "Between my finger and my thumb" and the second line, "the squat pen rests; snug as a pen". The first line builds up a rhythm like a movement of a spade. Second line, when he mentions the word `rests` makes the reader rest as well. In the second half of that line `snug as a gun`, uses the word `snug` as a simile, but more importantly the word `gun` suggests the pen is like an instrument of destruction, as he compares it to a brutal weapon. The second stanza, on the first line reads, "under my window, a clean rasping sound", the word `rasping` is onomatopoeic and includes the reader, enhances there ability to imagine the scene. The next line, "When the spade sinks into gravely ground", the words, `sound` and `ground` on those two lines rhyme which gives the poem rhythm. ...read more.

Conclusion

Overall, I think the poem is good, as he varies the language, which makes the poem interesting. Also I like the way in which they talk about the pen first comparing it to a gun and then to his fathers tool for digging, spade. The two poems `Mid-Term Break` and `Digging` are both good poems, which are both about families. `Mid-Term Break` is about when he leaves college and returns home to find out the news about his little brother. `Digging` is about his grandfather and how he's getting old and finding work difficult, so both poems are about family, but quite different circumstances. The layout of the two poems is very different. `Mid-Term Break` being very straight forward, just having three lines to each stanza and `Digging` being completely opposite and following no strategic pattern. Overall I think that `Mid-Term Break` is a better poem, as I find it more serious and was personally more effective by this poem due to it being quite sad talking about his brother and that last line, "A four foot box, a foot for every year", which is a very emotional last line to finish a poem. Simon Bevan English Coursework 10.3 ...read more.

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