‘Mid-term break’ and ‘Funeral blues’
‘Mid-term break’ and ‘Funeral blues’

‘Mid-term break’ and ‘Funeral blues’

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  • Pages: 3 (1178 words)
  • Published: October 17, 2017
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‘Mid-term break was written by Seamus Heaney , a poet born in 1939 in County Derry, in Ireland.

The poem is about the death of Heaney’s younger brother who is unnamed.’Funeral blues’ was written by Wystan Hugh Auden, also a poet. Auden was born in 1907 in York, in England. The poem is about the death of Aden’s lover and the feelings he felt when his lover died.

In both poems they describe the death of a loved one. Death is treated differently by the poets, ‘ Mid-term break’ is written in an narrative way as Heaney writes about the death of his younger brother and how he felt around family and family friends .”I sat all morning in the college sick bayCounting bells knelling classes to a close.At two o’clock our neighbours drove me home”This a quotation from ‘Mid-term break’, this is the beginning of the poem and it explains that Heaney waited to be driven home by neighbours (possibly because his parents were to grief stricken to drive) counting lessons go by.In ‘funeral blues’ death is treated a though it is the end of the world for the poet, this poem is mainly metaphorical in the way it is written.

” The stars are not wanted now, put out every one;Pack up the moon dismantle the sun;”This quotation describes to the reader to what extent he is grieving as he says in these two lines that things as beautiful as stars are now no longer wanted as his lover has died and with him everything beautiful in the univ

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erse.The title of ‘Mid-term break’ is misleading as the reader assumes that the poem is going to be positive as school holidays is associated with happiness. ‘Funeral blues’ on the other hand is not misleading as the poem is about death which a funeral is associated with.There are cultural differences between the poets.

Seamus Heaney grew up on his father’s farm, his early memories of farm life gave Heaney much to write about when he was adult. Wystan Hugh Auden was brought up with a better financial background and his work was mainly based on the world around himAuden used poetic techniques to show how universal his feelings were.He was my North, my South, my East and West,My working week and my Sunday rest,”This quotation from ‘Funeral blues’ is a metaphor to explain to the reader how strongly he felt about his lover because he was saying that this person was everything to him and that he was in every direction he turned and now that he has gone he feels completely lost, another point made is that he was with his lover all of the time. Both poets use enjambment to speed up a line. Heaney’s poem also uses caesuras and metaphors.

Similarly, Heaney uses metaphor in his poem but perhaps not in such an emphatic and ardent way.”Wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple,He lay in the four foot box as in his cot.”This quotation is the only metaphor in the poem and he uses it to describe the bruise on his brothers temple to a poppy. Auden’s poe

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on the other hand has many metaphors and also personification, an example of personification is;”Let aeroplanes circle moaning overheadScribbling on the sky the message He is dead,”This is personification because a aeroplane doesn’t actually moan and you associate moaning with grief.

The imagery used in the poem ‘Funeral blues’ is that he describes the grief he is feeling and in it he is very pessimistic as he describes a very depressing scene which is to be expected after you have lost a person near to you. Also ‘Mid-term break’ does not have any rhyming lines or stanzas as opposed to ‘Funeral blues’ in which each caplet rhymes.In both poems the themes are death and grief.”Silence the pianos and with muffled drumBring out the coffin, let the mourners come.”This is a quotation from the poem ‘Funeral blues’ and confirms the readers thoughts about the poem being about a death because it has now become obvious because of the coffin being mentioned.

” No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear.A four foot box, a foot for every year.”This quotation is from the poem ‘Mid-term break’ , it is very touching as the reader realises the age at which Heaney’s younger brother died which was only four years old and also the way in which he was killed which was probably by getting knocked over by a car, the reader knows this because Heaney describes the way his brother looked when he went to see him in his coffin. In ‘Mid-term break’ there are also the themes family, anger, childhood and love ( for his brother).” And tell me they were “sorry for my trouble,”Whispers informed strangers I was the eldest,Away at school, as my mother held my handIn hers and coughed out angry tearless sighs.

“This quotation covers the two themes anger and family, the quotation tells us that Heaney was the eldest and away at school at the time of his brothers death at which he may feel guilty about. In addition the reader learns That Heaney’s mother is so angry about her Childs death she is too angry to be able to let out a tear and is only able to let out “angry, tearless sighs”.The extra themes in ‘Funeral blues’ are despair and love.”pour away the ocean and sweep up the woodFor nothing now can ever come to any good.”This quotation explains that Auden is in such a deep despair over the loss of his lover that he feels as though nothing at all can ever mean the same thing like it was when his lover was alive, now all he feels is that everything should just be packed away.The poem ‘Funeral blues’ has four stanzas while ‘Mid-term break’ on the other hand has seven stanzas.I think the ending of ‘Mid-term break’ has more impact upon the reader as it is very touching and makes you think how awful it must be to lose a child especially one as young as four, one positive thought is that the reader knows that the child died a very quick death and didn’t suffer, the reader knows this because of the line;”No gaudy scars,

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