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Analysis of Mid-term Break Poem by Seamus Heaney

Analysis of Mid-Term Break Poem by Seamus Heaney.

There are stories in the poem and story in the poem “Mid- Term Break” by Seamus Heaney is about a young boy who just come back from boarding school had loss his brother in an accident. The death of the brother had give difference emotional respond by the family member about the death .

Literary device make poem better and make it interesting to read .Furthermore, there are a lot of literary devices that use by Seamus in this poem. He use personification in this poem . Personification is a figure of speech in which human characteristics are attributed to an abstract quality, animal, or inanimate objects (Personification, Encyclopedia Britannica eb.com). For examples that related to the poem is  “Counting bells knelling classes to a close”, the bells being attributed to human characteristic which is “knelling”. The word knelling is often associated with death (as with the “knelling” of a funeral bell) so this adds a morbid tone to the opening of the poem (Mid Term Break , Teachnet). He also uses metaphor in this poem. Metaphor is a figure of speech in which an implied comparison is made between two unlike things that actually have something in common (About.com). Examples for the metaphor is “the corpse stanched” and “candles soothed the bedside.”. The candles is use to create the image of sorrow and with the uses of metaphor the writer will create the visual imagery in our mind which is the candles produce a dim light that put the numb situation in that house.

 By reading the poem also we can see that Seamus Heaney only use simile once to compare the coffin to a cot, “He lay in the four foot box as in a cot.” Simile is a figure of speech in which two fundamentally unlike things are explicitly compared, usually in a phrase introduced by “like” or “as.” . This tells us that the boy is four years old as they had mentioned that A four foot box, a foot for every year meaning that the boy has grown to four foot which is four years.

 This poem is organised with three lines per stanza, almost like an unrhymed tercet with the exception of the last line. This structure make the last line stand out more so than the rest which shows the readers the importance of this line. In this poem there is no specific rhythm or rhyme pattern. However the last word in the poem rhymes with the last word in the stanza before. As mentioned before, Heaney used structure to outline the importance of the last line, but poems are often not read but heard and so this rhyme allows listeners to notice the emphasis on the last line.( Analysis of “Mid-Term Break” by Seamus Heaney, Bukisa).

In this poem there are several important themes such as time, age, family, pain, love and most of all death. Death is an awkward subject that most want to avoid in life but it is also one that dominates people lives the most. We live because we don’t want to die. However there are times when unexpected death occurs, and in those times it’s the victim’s family that suffers the most. This poem takes the audience along on the speaker’s journey to accepting his beloved little brother’s death. Though family, age and love seems to be opposites of death and pain, one side cannot exist without the other. Therefore, in this poem family, love and age are all crucial themes. .( Analysis of “Mid-Term Break” by Seamus Heaney, Bukisa).

Conclusion, this poem contain show that the dead of family member cannot be easily accepted by other family member because loss of the love one is something sad and sorrow . The death can be happen every time and everywhere . The choices of language and literary devices are very appropriate and served their purpose, especially in emphasising the last line which wraps up the poem on one bitter sweet note. 

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