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Mid-term Break - Seamus Heaney

Presentation on thee poem by Seamus Heaney
by

Tom Bean

on 14 January 2011

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Transcript of Mid-term Break - Seamus Heaney

SEAMUS HEANEY Mid-Term Break I sat all morning in the college sick bay
Counting bells knelling classes to a close.
At two o'clock our neighbours 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 that 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. Paler now,

Wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple.
He lay in a four foot box, as in his cot.
No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear.

A four foot box, a foot for every year.
Structure The poem is laid out in a simple
but formal structure in simple
three line stanzas.The poems last two
lines form a rhyming couplet, and this
rhyming pattern highlights the lack
of life in the poem, therefore relating
it to the childs berievement. Language The poem is about Heaneys brother dying and it suggests the poem is set as Heaney arrives home from school. The scene is set by Heaney as one which maybe morbid as he describes him to be 'counting the bells knelling classes to a close', relating it to a funeral and the church bell 'knelling'. In the final section of the poem, we see him alone with ihis brother, and for this, Heaney uses personal pronouns like 'he', 'his and 'him'. this creates a very personal effect within the poem, and allows the reader to relate with Heaney through his poetry. The title of the poem 'Mid-Term Break' suggests about how Heaney was called hope from college to hear about that death of his brother. Heaney is clever with the titl as he links it into school, but has a deeper meaning, talking about his brothers death. Themes Rhetorical devices Links Within the poem Heaney explores death through the story of when his brother died at the age of 4. The poem is set at first in the school, and then as he arrives home to the news of his brothers death. It looks at the personal feelings of Heaney on the day and it travels with him throughout the day, at each stage. The next morning we see more evidence of the theme and how Heaney copes with the death of his brother.
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