• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Mid-term Break by Seamus Heaney and In Mrs Tilschers Class by Carol Ann Duffy . Discuss how the poets have described the ending of childhood innocence in at least two poems you have studied.

Extracts from this document...


Mid-term Break by Seamus Heaney and In Mrs Tilscher's Class by Carol Ann Duffy "Poems can capture important moments in our lives" Discuss how the poets have described the ending of childhood innocence in at least two poems you have studied. I am going to analyse two poems which share the theme of the end of the era of childhood and children growing up. The poems are Mid-term Break by Seamus Heaney and In Mrs Tilscher's Class by Carol Ann Duffy. Each of the poets reflects on memories from childhood concerning important events which took place and marked the end of childhood as they knew it. Seamus Heaney is a Northern Irish poet, from a traditional Irish background, which I feel I can relate to. Heaney was born in N Ireland in Co Londonderry and later studied English at Queen's University in Belfast. Throughout his poetry, colloquial words and typical Northern Irish phrases are used, which produce a response not only in a reader like myself who shares his cultural background, but also those from differing cultural backgrounds, as evidenced in the worldwide popularity of his poetry. Carol Ann Duffy is a very successful Scottish poet from Glasgow. ...read more.


Her memories are mostly happy. She remembers school as "better than home". It is mainly a positive poem, uplifting the reader, sharing mutual events familiar not only to school aged children but also to a wider audience of varying ages. Not all Duffy's memories were happy however, as she does briefly mention "Brady and Hindley faded like the faint uneasy smudge of a mistake" but doesn't dwell on it as she quickly moves onto how she felt a sense of security and love for her teacher, Mrs Tilscher. Gold stars were a treat for working hard and Mrs Tilscher often left these as surprises. Duffy comments on how she felt at receiving one, "Mrs Tilscher loved you". She comments on the efforts made by Mrs Tilscher to make the classroom an appealing place, "The classroom glowed like a sweetshop". In contrast to Duffy's mainly happy memories, Heaney describes how as a young boy, he saw his father crying, unable to cope with the death of his younger four year old brother, when previously his father "had always taken funerals in his stride-". He speaks of how the neighbour, Jim Evans said the death of the little boy had been "a hard blow" to the family. ...read more.


Heaney would have remembered seeing his brother sleeping in a cot and he refers to the coffin as being a cot. For Heaney his brother had "No gaudy scars" and he sees him looking as he would have remembered him when he was alive but now he is dead. The last line "A four foot box, a foot for every year" stands alone in this poem. Heaney uses monosyllables to let the reader feel the pain he is going through at the death of his four year old brother. We can feel Heaney's shock at the unexpected death of his young brother. Heaney's childhood came to an end with the abrupt and untimely death of his brother. In contrast Duffy's childhood was brought to an end by the remarks of "A rough boy told you how you were born". This was taking place while Duffy was looking at the growth of tadpoles in the classroom, which would have been her only experience of change and growth until that stage. She describes show she "stared at your parents, appalled". Sexual awareness and growing up is a favourite topic of Duffy's. She continues this theme in the last verse of her poem. She compares the weather at the end of the school year to the changing feelings she is experiencing as she enters adolescence. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Comparisons section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Comparisons essays

  1. Compare and contrast "The Chimney Sweeper" in Songs of Innocence with "The Chimney Sweeper" ...

    The line "Weep Weep Weep Weep" also reflects his youthfulness with the alliteration being portrayed as a mis-pronunciation of sweep. This is highly ironic as chimney sweeping is what this poor child has to look forward to in life. Throughout the opening verses adjectives are used to reinforce the young

  2. Comparing In Mrs. Tilchers Class and Death Of A Naturalist. Concerning the loss of ...

    would see them and also help them to recall their old experiences back once again. These two poems differ in many ways, but the alikeness is still quite striking. The two poems are both split by time. In "Mrs. Tilcher's Class" the poem is split into four stanzas, underlining the

  1. Comparison of Cynddylan on a Tractor by R.S Thomas and Docker by Seamus Heaney. ...

    In the pub, he sits "in the corner, staring at his drink" "strong and blunt as a Celtic cross". He has isolated himself form everyone around him; he has only himself and his contorted opinions. His wife and children live in atmosphere or intimidation; he has alienated them too.

  2. Compare and contrast The Flea(TM) by John Donne and To His Coy Mistress(TM) by ...

    All throughout the stanza he continues to flatter her: 'At every pore with instant fires' He means the passion within you. Moreover he begins to go on about time again and exaggerates that the should both have fun while they are still young, attack the relationship, and enjoy and get every bit they can out of it.

  1. Nothings changed by Tatamkhulu Afrika and I am not that woman by Kishwar Naheed ...

    "Can" symbolises waste which gives an image that the masses (blacks) feel unwanted; he uses this technique to make his argument effective. Also, to make the argument clear in the readers mind by expressing his feelings and explaining the vivid image of the surroundings.

  2. Compare and contrast two poems you have studied about birds of prey.

    It is ordered and symmetrical. Hawk Roosting is a long poem with six stanzas. Hawk roosting uses enjambment, this is a run over line where one sentence runs onto the next line. This creates dramatic monologue. The Eagle is a series of short sentences in order.

  1. Examine how Seamus Heaney explores the theme of "Growing Up" in two poems you ...

    These connote to the power, strength and degree of proficiency he has and uses with the horse-plough. In the fifth stanza he is still in admiration for his father, "I wanted to grow up and plough", but realises that he will not be able to as he feel over burdened

  2. How does Wilfred Owen in Disabled treat the subject of exclusion? Including comparisons with ...

    The rhyming words create a harmony in the poem which clashes with the soldier?s situation, as he is a torn character whereas harmony implies that he is at peace with himself. This is created by the rhyme of ?salutes? and ?recruits? as the recruitment system was supposed to mark the soldier?s impressive rise as a masculine figure.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work