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'Mid-term Break' by Seamus Heaney - review

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Introduction

'Mid-term Break' by Seamus Heaney 'Mid-term Break' is a biographical poem. It is about Seamus Heaney as a child coming back from boarding school and discovering his four-year-old brother has been hit by a car and died. "At two o'clock our neighbours drove me home." This is the first event that tells us that something is not right. Neighbours won't usually pick up boarders; it would usually probably be the parents or a relative. This immediately creates a sort of mystery to the poem and makes you ask questions. It makes you want to read on to find out what it is that's wrong. ...read more.

Middle

"...my mother held my hand In hers and coughed out angry tearless sighs." This is almost as shocking as the father crying. I would've thought the mother would've been the crying parent and the father would've been the one trying to be strong. It also informs us that she's angry about how this person has died and that she might even feel angry towards someone who contributed to his or her death. "At ten o'clock the ambulance arrived With the corpse, stanched and bandaged by the nurses." This is an awful picture. The corpse has been stanched to prevent it from bleeding, this tells us that the death must've been an accident and it was not from natural causes. ...read more.

Conclusion

No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear." We finally are told more about the accident and the deceased. A poppy is used to describe the bruise on his left temple because it traditionally symbolises death. The deceased is a young boy as it says he lies in a four-foot box as though it was his cot. And we are finally told that he has been hit by a car and has died instantly from being hit on the temple. The last paragraph is the simplest but the strongest of the whole poem. It tells us that the boy was just four years old and he is now dead, lying in his box. "A four foot box, a foot for every year." Francesca Nichol - 3A1 ...read more.

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