Mid-Term Break Poem Analysis

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He tried his best to till the land―to plant his seeds, but he was always tripping over himself, and ending up sprawled atop the Irish soil. This was the childhood of Seamus Heaney, an Irish poet who descended from a line of farmers. Heaney’s work reflects his history. He sees poetry as not just an outlet for discussing emotions and fictional stories, but also as a powerful platform for sharing the experiences of his life. Because of this, many of his poems pertain to events in his life told narratively through the use vivid imagery. The poem Mid-Term Break focuses on the crushing experience of living through the death of one of his siblings while the poems Follower and Digging are about his rural family history, and his decision to become a …show more content…
This poem is autobiographical because Seamus Heaney’s younger brother was actually hit by a car and killed at the age of 4. In lines 4-5 he says, “In the porch I met my father crying—He had always taken funerals in his stride.” Showing that his father was grieving but he was trying hard to be strong. In lines 12-13 he says, “as my mother held my hand In hers and coughed out angry tearless sighs.” This shows how shocked she was about losing her youngest son. The poet focuses on the reactions of the parents rather than himself to convey the emotions from the impact of losing their little boy. In the last three stanzas the speaker says, “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.” The poet uses this experience and imagery to show how since he has been away at college, he was not able to spend the final moments with his brother. So when he does see him, he finds it strange to see his brother so pale and lifeless. He also notices the bruising on his forehead from the bumper of the car he was hit by. The poet does not really speak about his own feelings directly, but tells the experience of coming home to a …show more content…
The poem Follower, the speaker’s father was a farmer who “worked with a horse-plough,” on a field. Throughout the poem, the reader can visualize a son following his father as he worked on a farm. The lines “All I ever did was follow/ In his broad shadow round the farm” employs imagery to inform the reader that the son is following his father who is working in the farm. He is trying to be like his father, but sees himself as a annoyance. At the end of the poem, the young boy has grown up and became a farmer like his father. However, he is a farmer in the sense that he “digs” stories with his pen, rather than digging dirt with a shovel. The reader can visualize the father stumbling behind, as the son must support his elderly father. In the poem Digging, the reader can visualize the speaker sitting at his desks with a pen between his fingers and thumb, “snug as a gun”. This emphasizes that the speaker is a writer. This expresses to the reader that the speaker is more comfortable holding a pen rather than tools for farming. A pen is simply a writing tool, where the speaker holds the pen as if he is firmly holding a ‘gun’. The pen symbolises the speaker’s love for writing; a pen is a writer’s life. In Follower, the speaker expresses their desire of wanting to become a farmer like his father, however in Digging, the speaker had became a writer instead of a farmer. Heaney applies

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