Seamus Heaney MidTerm Break And

Seamus Heaney : Mid-Term Break And Personal Helicon Essay, Research Paper

`For this piece of coursework on Seamus Heaney, I

will be choosing two poems Mid-Term Break and Personal Helicon, and I’ll be

writing a commentary on each of them.?

Firstly I will be writing an introduction about Seamus Heaney, which

will include his poems and on his educational background and then on what types

of poems he writes.? I will then write

about each of the poems Mid-Term Break, and Personal Helicon, which are

similar, as they’re both about his child hood. Finally I’ll write a final

conclusion about Seamus Heaney, which will show how effective his poems are.Seamus Heaney is an Irish poet who was born in April

1939 and still lives today.? Seamus

Heaney was a very bright boy who as a country boy attended local primary

schools and colleges to gain scholarships at Colleges. At college Heaney was

taught Latin and Irish and moved on to Queens University in Belfast.? In the course of his career Seamus Heaney

has always contributed to the promotions of artistic and educational causes both

in Ireland and abroad.? In recent years

Seamus Heaney has been the recipient of several honorary degrees, he’s a member

of the Aosdana (Irish academy of artist and writers), and a foreign member of

the American Academy of arts and letters.Mid-Term Break is an incredibly sad

poem.? Mid term break is basically about

a little boy, who was actually Seamus Heaney’s brother, who was sadly killed by

a speeding car.? Seamus Heaney describes

in the poem of what he did that day when he’s younger brother was killed. The stanza begins with the "morning" in

line one, but it is two o’clock in line three, showing that hours have passed

in waiting. The second stanza begins with the image of Heaney’s

father "crying".? Heaney’s father

appears to be a strong man of few words, so having him crying causes a powerful

emotion in the reader.? Heaney skilfully

takes the reader with him as he enters the house (showing he was scared)

through the porch as we meet his father; "Big Jim Evans"; the baby in

its pram; the old men gathered in the room; and finally Heaney’s mother

coughing out "angry tearless sighs", which show that she was hiding

her true emotions.? The little brother

of Seamus Heaney was hit on his head, as it says the ambulance arrived at 10

o’clock, with the corpse, stanched and bandaged by the nurses. We learn in the sixth stanza that Heaney hadn’t seen

his brother for six weeks having been "away at school", which

suggests he went to a boarding school.?

The words "paler now", hang at the end of the stanza on line

18, causing a sad pause before the sentence continues and describes how little

changed in appearance from when the boy was alive and dead, the big difference

is his paler colour and his "poppy bruise". The final line stands out of the rest of the

poem.? Almost every word is special so

that the reader must take in the line’s message and the shock and deep grief

that the family must have felt.? There

is shock for the reader reading it for the first time also, when they discover

who has died and that he was only four years old. The little four-year-old

child who suffered a hard hit to the head from a speeding car was well written

in the poem.? The mood is set almost

immediately in the second line: Counting bells knelling classes to a close. I

noticed how Heaney uses an alteration to the funereal sound of the bells and

the feeling of time dragging.Personal

Helicon is

basically about childhood and discovery.?

This poem is well written, which cleverly makes us think so that we may

see ourselves better as a species.? Looking at the first and last stanzas, I can see

opposing points of view. The first line begins ‘As a child’ and in the last

line Heaney says that these activities are now ‘beneath all adult dignity’. He

also begins by describing the very real echoes found in wells, but the last

line "I rhyme to see myself, to set the darkness echoing", which is

about echoes of a more metaphorical kind.?

The poem itself seems to be about the journey from childhood to

adulthood that he has taken. ?This means

he has moved away from the poetry he wrote when he was younger to a more mature

kind when he became older. I find some lines in the poem wild and disgusting,

words such as "fructified", fungus", "dank" which were

said earlier in the poem, and later Heaney speaks of "a clean new

music", reflecting his life as he has become more mature.? Looking at the two poems Mid-Term Break and Personal

Helicon I have learnt that Seamus Heaney’s poems can be very meaningful and in

depth.? You could have so many ideas of

what the poem is suggesting which makes you think what’s happening and what the

poem is all about.? Looking at the poem Mid-Term Break I thought it was

very well written.? The poem builds up

lots of tension towards the final stanza, which makes you wonder what’s going

to happen, which makes it highly exciting.?

The highlight of this poem would probably have to be the way it was

written as it builds up tension, and also makes people feel sympathies for the

little four-year-old boy who was killed as he looked like he was sleeping in

the coffin as he slept in his cot. In Personal Helicon, Seamus Heaney writes about

childhood and discovery, which is very hard to understand.? He creates a mirror with his rhymes.? In a way, archaeology is like

"hands-on" poetry.? Its

purpose is to "pry into roots" of humanity, "to set the darkness

echoing" so that we may see ourselves better as a species.


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