Mid-Term Break: A Poem by Irish Poet, Seamus Heaney

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Mid-term Break

Mid-term Break is a poem by the Irish poet Seamus Heaney. In this poem I will explain how the poem is very effective at conveying the complex emotions of how Seamus Heaney feels when he loses his younger brother in a road accident. I was surprised that in the poem he doesn’t show any sadness, but he shows other emotions such as embarrassment and awkwardness. The emotions he conveys don't match the situation he is in, until the end when he starts to convey anger and guilt.

At the start of the poem Seamus Heaney is waiting in the school sick bay, he is waiting for his neighbours to pick him up. When he arrives at his house he finds his father crying. As he goes into the house he finds a baby in a pram, it is cooing and rocking its pram back and forth, the baby is in the middle of strange old men inside his house. He is greeted by the strangers, they whisper behind Seamus Heaney's back that he is the elder child. He is then met by his mother who is who is angrily coughing out tearless sighs. At 10 o'clock the ambulance arrives, the nurses then bandage the body and take it away. The end of end poem is the next morning, where he sees his brother for the first time in six weeks. His brother has a small poppy bruise on his left temple, where the bumper of the car hit him.

The first emotion conveyed in the story is boredom. The way he conveys this is by saying “counting bells”, which he is doing to keep himself occupied while he waits for his neighbours to pick him up. The time difference in the stanza shows that he lives far away from the school. It begins with “I sat all morning in the sick bay” and ends with “At two o'clock”. Rhythm also appears in this stanza, it is in the second line “Counting bells knelling classes”.

The next emotion to be conveyed in the poem is awkwardness, this emotion is shown in the second stanza. Awkwardness is first shown in the second stanza after Big Jim Evans says “it was a hard blow”, this...
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