A poem that deals with death and grief is “Mid-term Break” by Seamus Heaney. The poem describes a boy who is brought home from school to attend the funeral of his younger brother who was tragically knocked down by a car. Heaney uses emotive language to emphasise the boy’s reaction to this event.
At the start of the poem Heaney gives the reader an idea that something is not right.
“I sat all morning in the college sickbay” this suggests that the boy has been called out of class and has been waiting to be picked up. To show that the boy was there for a long time he was “counting bells knelling” the word “knelling” is used to describe funeral bells. This is an effective metaphor as the bells sound like funeral bells to the boy which implies that someone has died. The boy was not picked up by his parents, “our neighbours drove us home” this adds to the notion that something is wrong otherwise he would have been collected by his other or father.
In the first stanza Heaney portrays that something is not as it should be. The reader is unaware of what has happened which is effective as this anticipates the reader to read on and find out.
In the next few stanzas the poet describes how the friends and family of the deceased boy are feeling and how he reacts to their emotions.
When the boy arrives at his house he sees his “father crying” this would come as a big shock to the boy as fathers are strong members in families. The reader knows that the father is used to attending funerals by the phrase “he has always taken funerals in his strife”. This also gives the reader an idea that the person that has died is very close to the boy and his family. The baby’s actions at the funeral are contrasting everyone else’s, “the baby cooed and laughed”. Almost as if it were laughing at the adult’s grief. When the men treat the boy as if he were and adult by “standing up to shake my hand” the boy feels uncomfortable and embarrassed.
The poet witnesses...