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Mid-Term Break - Analyzing a Poem

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Claudia Padilla

on 28 August 2018

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Transcript of Mid-Term Break - Analyzing a Poem

Mid-Term Break - Analyzing a Poem
Read a poem.
Use Academic Vocabulary to discuss the ideas presented in the poem and discover its meaning.
Identify the literary devices and imagery used in the poem.
Discuss diction (word choice) and its effect on the beauty and force of the poem.
Write a summary of the poem.
Express your opinion of the poem and provide evidence from the text that supports and justifies your opinion.
Meet the author
Seamus Heaney
Hear The Poet's voice



Born in Castledawson, Ireland on April 13, 1939 to a farming family that had nine children.
At the age of 12, obtained a scholarship to study at a boarding school in a town located 40 miles away from his farm
Passed away on August 30, 2013 and is buried in the family plot in his hometown

Hailed as one of the greatest Irish poets in history, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995
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 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 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 the four-foot box as in his cot.
No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear.

A four-foot box, a foot for every year.

validate your prediction
What is the poem really about?

Look for words and phrases in the poem that serve as evidence for your claim.
sensory language
"Mid-Term Break"
The phrase '
mid-term break'
to be

similar to '
spring break'
, '
fall break'
or '
winter break

What images or feelings come to your mind when you hear those phrases?

Complete these sentences to express your idea:

When I hear the phrase
break, I think of ___________________________________ and I feel ____________________________________________.
I predict that the poem called Mid-Term Break will be about ________________________________

Now, listen carefully to the poet reciting his work. After the poem is recited, check your prediction.
fOCUS ON the musical quality of the poem
Read the poem once again. Can you find sounds or rhythms in phrases, lines, or entire stanzas? Look for:

- repetition of similar or identical consonant sounds - usually occurring at the beginning of words, but not always
- repetition of the same vowel sound in many words
of words or phrases
number of syllables
in the lines
- words that end with the same sounds

Circle or highlight those sounds in your copy of the poem. Share your findings with an elbow partner.
Was your prediction about the topic of the poem correct?
What do you believe the poem is really about?

What event is the poet describing in his work?

Make a list of words or phrases from the poem that serve as evidence for your opinion regarding the topic of the poem.
How does the poet's choice of words (diction) add to the beauty and/or force of the poem?
In order to understand the beauty of the poet's word choice, paraphrase the following lines and/or words from the poem with a new partner.

As you paraphrase them, look closely at the words you used and the words that the poet chose instead.

Then, listen closely. One of you will read the original line from the poem aloud. Your partner will read the paraphrased version. Do you find a difference in the depth, musicality, or strength of the lines? Explain your answers. Are there words that the author chose that have a different, stonger meaning because they have a more positive or negative implied meaning (connotation)?
Line from the Poem Paraphrase

Write your summary of the poem
The poem "___________________" written by the Irish poet ____________________ describes ______ ___________________________________________________________. Through his writing, Heany expresses ___________________________________
Express your opinion
It is my belief that the poem is _________________ because ___________________________________.
I can provide the following evidence from the poem to support my opinion: _______________________
(Provide at least two examples from the poem that support and serve as evidence in favor of your view)
Now read to the poem again, accompanied by visual and musical support for the images created by the poet.
1) Predict the meaning of the word based on context.
2) Look up the word and its meanings in a dictionary.
3) Decide which meaning you believe is the correct one.
4) Insert the meaning into the phrase where the word was originally used
5) Verify whether your prediction was correct by seeing if the new sentence makes sense.
6) Conclude: Why do you think the author chose the word for his poem? Which synonym(s) could he have used in the poem instead?

Analyze Diction (word Choice)
I believe the author chose the word ______________instead of a word like _______________ because _______________________________________

Conclusion about word choice
Full transcript