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Poetry analysis of Mid-Term break by Seamus Heaney.

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Mid-term Break by Seamus Heaney I sat all morning in the college sick bay Counting bells knelling classes to a close. At two o'clock our neighbors drove me home. In the porch I met my father crying-- He had always taken funerals in his stride-- And Big Jim Evans saying it was a hard blow. The baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pram When I came in, and I was embarrassed By old men standing up to shake my hand And tell me they were "sorry for my trouble," Whispers informed strangers I was the eldest, Away at school, as my mother held my hand In hers and coughed out angry tearless sighs. At ten o'clock the ambulance arrived With the corpse, stanched and bandaged by the nurses. Next morning I went up into the room. Snowdrops And candles soothed the bedside; I saw him For the first time in six weeks. ...read more.


The poet describes the reactions of the people around him like his father and uncle. The poet uses 'p' and 'b' sounds which gives the impression of being out of breath and shocked. I think that the boy would feel rather confused and shocked by there behaviour as he is not used to them reacting in this way, as men are usually less emotional, more strong and controlled. In the third stanza there is an ironic description of a baby cooing and laughing in its pram, I think in away the poet uses this image to juxtapose the baby's innocent actions to his own, as he is feeling bewildered and confused and cannot relate to the situation. 'I was embarrassed by old men standing up to shake my hand', this quote shows how immature the poet is and it also shows how there is a reverse of roles here, as usually young boys give respect to older men, whereas now, the poet is receiving the respect. ...read more.


The death must have happened during the Easter term because snowdrops blossom during spring; the time of Easter. In stanza seven we finally find out how the child died-in a car accident, 'the bumper knocked him clear' This stanza is rather different from the descriptions the day before as it is more intimate, and it is as if it is just him and the body whereas before it was as if he was more concerned with the all the visitors and reactions of everyone else. For the first time in the whole poem the poet uses imagery 'a poppy bruise', this image is very powerful as it gives us a picture of the severity of the bruise The last stanza is shocking and brief and effective; we find out that the child was only four years old, 'a four foot box, a foot for every year'. We also are given an impression of speechlessness and brings the poem to its climax. The speaker in this poem is a young boy and to purvey this, the poet writes in very simple free verse. ...read more.

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