Mid-Term Break

Topics: Stanza, Poetry, Death Pages: 3 (1086 words) Published: October 20, 2010
Mid-term Break

The poem Mid-term Break by Seamus Heaney tells a story that reflects back on a memory from when he was younger. Heaney writes about the death of his younger brother that died in a Car accident when he was fourteen. The title of the poem ‘’mid-term break’’ is ironic as it indicates that the break is a sort of holiday from school, a happy time, however the reason for the break from school is actually unofficial and an unfortunate event.

In the first stanza the reader learns that He is at school, which we later find out he has been there for six weeks as Seamus Heaney attended a boarding school. It says that he’s been waiting ‘’all morning in the college sick bay/ Counting bells knelling’’ This emphasis how long he has been waiting to be picked up so for him to be sat there and not in lessons shows there is obviously a serious reason why he is being picked up, also the bells ‘’knelling’’ is like bells at a funeral which gives the poem a Morbid tone. It also says in this stanzas ‘’ our neighbours drove me home’’ which leads to the question of why is his neighbours picking him up and not his parents. This stanza creates an unsettling mood for the poem and leaves the reader wondering what’s happened. In the line that’s written ‘’ I met my father crying/ he had always taken funerals in his stride’’ it shows how bad the situation actually is, that his father would usually be okay, but this death is too much for even him to handle. ‘’Big Jim Evans’’ who gives the impression that he is somebody close to the family as he uses a nickname for him tells him ‘’it was a hard blow’’ this again gives the reader an idea of how bad the effects of the death has had on everyone and also signifies that the death was caused by a hit, which we later find out that he was hit by a vehicle In the third and fourth stanza’s he shows a feeling of embarrassment when Heaney writes that ‘’ old men standing up to shake my hand/ and tell me they were sorry for my trouble’’...
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