What is the message of the poem Mid-Term Break?

“Mid-Term Break” describes the aftermath of a tragedy: the speaker’s four-year-old brother has been hit by a car and killed. But the poem doesn’t spend a lot of time describing the accident or memorializing the dead child. Instead, the poem focuses on the way that other people respond to this tragedy.

When did Seamus Heaney write Mid-Term Break?

‘Mid-Term Break’ was published in Death of a Naturalist, Heaney’s most-famous volume, in 1966. It is dedicated to Heaney’s brother who died in a car accident in 1953 when he was only four years old. Heaney was 14 at the time.

Why did Seamus Heaney write Mid-Term Break?

The early poem Mid-Term Break was written by Heaney following the death of his young brother, killed when a car hit him in 1953.

What is the irony of the poem Mid-Term Break?

The argument of the poem is the irony of “Mid-term Break” being something full of happiness and cheer considering the boy was coming home after a stressful week of midterm tests and it’s a reward for the hard work put into that week.

What does a poppy bruise mean?

In this time of sorrow, they stand up to shake his hand and say they’re “sorry for his trouble”. The reference to “poppy bruise” in the final verse creates a sense of frustration and impotence that such a small looking blow could have such a devastating effect.

What does Heaney mean by the kneeling of the bells?

Sad irony when we realise the real reason he’s not in school. “Counting bells kneeling classes to a close.” (Line 2) “ll” sounds = onomatopoeic effect, echoes bells. “Knelling” = to ring solemnly, especially after a death. “All morning” (line 1)

What does poppy bruise mean?

The phrase “wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple” refers to the large bruise on the head of the speaker’s recently deceased brother.

What does a four foot box mean?

A four foot box, a foot for every year. The young Heaney has to wait all morning in his school’s sick bay waiting for his neighbours to drive him home. The line “counting bells knelling classes” suggests the tedium of waiting for the morning to pass but it also suggests funeral bells that will echo later.

What is unusual about the poet’s use of the phrase the corpse in Mid-Term Break?

The word ‘corpse’ suggests that Heaney seems detached. He does not see this body as being that of his younger brother, rather he has dehumanised the body in an attempt to cope with his grief.

What does the bumper knocked him clear mean?

We learn the cause of death is a road accident as ‘the bumper knocked him clear’. The final line emphasises how tragic the event is as the coffin is so small, showing the youth of the victim. The stanza is only one line and nine words long to place a clear emphasis on how tragic and shocking the event is.

What does poppy bruise mean what does poppy bruise symbolize?

The phrase “wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple” refers to the large bruise on the head of the speaker’s recently deceased brother. The boy has been knocked down and killed by a car, and the bruise, which looks like a poppy, is a reminder of this appalling tragedy.