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Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney

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by

Taylor Hadden

on 2 December 2013

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Transcript of Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney

Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney
Topic of Poem
Seamus Heaney's younger brother dies while he is off at school.
His brother was tragically hit by a car at the age of 4

Throughout the poem, suspense is built by not saying who had died. This helps to show the difficulty Heaney has with facing the reality of his brother's death.
Background Information
According to poetryarchive.org, Seamus Heaney was born on April 13, 1939 in Castledawson, County Derry, Northern Ireland. He went to school and received an English degree in Belfast. Heaney became an English professor in 1963. In 1965, he married Marie Devlin. His poetry is often made up of old memories and observations.

According to poemhunter.com, Heaney received a scholarship to attend St. Columb's college at 12 years old. while studying there, his brother was hit by a car at the age of four. The poems "Mid-Term Break" and "The Blackbird of Glanmore" are focused around his brother's death.
Thesis Statement / Argument & Supporting Pieces
This poem shows just how difficult it is to come to terms with losing a family member (particularly a younger sibling).

the following three pieces of evidence support the argument.
"And tell me they were 'sorry for my trouble,'
"...as my mother held my hand
In hers and coughed out angry tearless sighs."
"Next morning I went up into the room"

Relevance to Us
Everyone has times where they want a break from their siblings
Coping with the loss of a loved one is always difficult
There is a guilt for many reasons when someone dies.


By: Destiny Conner, Kennedy Premachandra, and Taylor Hadden
Final Line of the poem
"A four foot box, a foot for every year."

This powerful line at the end of the poem basically pulls everything together. It tells the reader how young his brother was and that he was too young to die. The entire poem has a sort of climax to it; this being the final sentence is the highest point of the climax.
When the old men
were apologizing for
his trouble and what
he has to go through.
Sets the tone of sad-
ness.
This line shows how
sad the mother is
about her loss of her
four year old son; proves
that it is tough to lose a
loved family member especially at a young age.
The last point shows that the older brother, Seamus, could not bring himself to go see his brothers body until the next morning. He could not handle seeing his brothers body when
they first brought it to the house.
Ex. not being around the person enough, something that was said between you, etc.
There is nothing harder than the loss of a loved one becoming real to us. Facing the truth is the worst part.
Getting tired of your siblings is natural. Everyone wants them to be gone sometimes, but not for good.
Full transcript