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Mid-Term Break

Seamus Heaney

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Added by: maria
i totally agree but i think it was way sad too, i like totlally cried and everything man, i had to take the rest of the day off skool wen i read it. my english teacher hugged me wen he saw how upset i was, were like totally having a relationship now thanks to that poem, the closeness of it brought us together....thanks heaney man...u rock!!!
Added by: kiran
well while reading this poem i noticed how Heaney knows exactly when everything happened to the time the neghbours came to collect him. to the time the ambulance came not only does he do this with the time aspect also with small detail like the "poppy bruise" and what big evans had said which doesn not sound like a young boy would say instead a grown man would say dat and he over heard him she or he say it.
Added by: nick
my teacher read this to my class today (11th grade). My class is usually the most inattentive class, and always talks. They were even talking during the readin of the poem, but i swear after the last line was read, there was dead silence, this poem is done very well and definately evokes a lot of emotions
Added by: Louise
Another great thing about this quietly poignant poem is the title. It makes you expect something about happy childhood memories, or perhaps freedom, perhaps it symbolises the fact that the little Heaney was looking forward to the school holidays but then was faced with the horror of his brother's death.
Added by: emma
whilst he was sitting in the college sick bay and each bell rang for next lessons..each bell could represent each knell..which made him think more of his brother.
"a four foot box...a foot for every year" those few words mean a great deal..he uses his words wisely and it touches your heart.
Mid-Tem Break
Added by: Malcolm
The last line of the poem is made up of one syllable words. The line is short. Just like the coffin, just like his brother's life. It stands alone among the other fully developed verses.

The use of enjambment (lines running into each other) creates an effect of the poet almost sleep-walking through the wake, in a daze. He is unable to feel anything.

It is not until the end, "The next morning" that he is able to face the body and finally recognise that his brother is dead. Before this point everything is written to avoid talking about death. His cations are limited, it is others acting around him - his mother holds his hand, not the other way around.

"counting bells knelling classes to a close" has a rhythmical effect imitating the ticking of a clock. Appropriately reinforcing the disjointed sense of timelessness as he waits trying to avoid thinking about this most serious subject. It is clearly on his mind from words such as "knelling", linked with funeral bells.

I am impressed with this poem.

Added by: anu
The title MIDTERM BREAK refers to the break from college that the elder brother had to take before the term ended. It also refers to the untimely break in the child's life.
Added by: Kirstie
Seamus Heaney uses many effective techniques to create the effect that we are experiencing what the poet was going through. the first technique is the deciving title "Mid-term Break". it gives you the image of happiness but infact early on in the poem we begin to doubt our enitial thoughts as we discover the title is a total contrast to our inital thoughts!!!

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