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mied term break

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In this assignment I will be comparing and contrasting two poems, 'mid term break ' by Seamus Heaney and 'the identification' by Roger McGough. Seamus Heaney's poem is auto-biographical and he writes about himself experiencing the reality of death via his younger brother. He describes desctrbes his family suffering from greif and struggling to accept the truth. In 'the identification' Roger to describe what seems to be a single Father identifying the body of a boy believed to be his son, Stephan who has been tragically killed by what is described as an 'explosion'. I will be comparing the similarities and differences of these two gloomy poems by using three topics to organize the comparing. The topics are Subject matter, use of language and poetic technique. Firstly I will be comparing the similarities within both poems. The subject matter between both poems are that they portray family grief for example in 'mid-term break' Seamus describes almost all his family members and neighbors showing signs of grief. His father is described a quite a tough man as it portrays him as always taking 'funerals in his stride'. At this point Seamus is unaware of why he has been pulled out of school but we can gather from the previous quote that he has added all the facts together to realize he has come home for a funeral. His mother is also caught grieving when he describes her holding his hand whilst coughing out 'angry tearless sighs'. ...read more.


This is a very dramatic as he bluntly buts the facts together it also shows us a twist of fate that the box being the same length as the brothers age. In 'the identification' Stephens father is struggling to accept the truth and this is shown when he asks so many questions and by doing this he is hoping to achieve pulling 'out every splinter of hope'. This shows him hoping to find some evidence that this body is not his son and not wanting to believe the facts he has already been portrayed. The last of the similarities in subject matter is confusion. Seamus portrays confusion when he is brought home from school by his neighbors at an unusual time in the school term, he also not aware of the reason why he has been brought home until the last two stanzas of the poem. He also suffers from confusion when he over hears big Jim Evans saying 'it was a hard blow' I'm not certain but I am presuming a lot of questions flooded into his head when he over hears this for example 'What was a hard blow?' In 'the identification' Stephens father gets confused in the first stanza about the color of the boys hair which is black but his son's, Stephens, was 'fair'. It becomes apparent after the father queries this fact it becomes apparent that the explosion that killed the boy would of synched the boys hair and caused it to turn black. ...read more.


In 'the identification' Roger describes the father suffering alone as he has no other family member to consolidate with or mourn with. He his not completely on his own though as he has the pathologist with him but he however does not show any reassurance and only answers asked questions. The use of language within both poems also range as they both wrote there poems in a different narrative perspective. 'Mid-term break' is written is first person narrative perspective (me, myself and I). This is used throughout the poem in order to create sympathy for Seamus. This narrative perspective is used to its full extent in the second line of the fifth stanza 'I saw him' this short sentence really hits the reader as this is the first time Seamus actually sees his brother during the poem. This sentence also puts the reader in his position and prepares us for a description of what he is about to see. 'The identification' was written is second person narrative so that you, the reader can see eye to eye with the father of Stephen. He does this so we can feel all the emotions Stephens father goes through. In the last line of the poem the readers becomes emotionally upset as we have already gained sympathy for the father therefore do not want him to go through this experience, like we wouldn't want ourselves to go through it so we hope that he does not suffer the loss in the end, but unfortunately he does 'That's our Stephen' ...read more.

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