What is Seamus Heaney's attitude towards death in his poem "Mid-Term Break"?  

1 Answer | Add Yours

epollock's profile pic

epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

In the poem the tree is alive: “sways,” “waves,” “moves,” “shakes,” etc. The poet mentions the“comic rungs of the ladder,” the “nails,” the tree itself and the surrounding area, but he does not concretely describe the tree house. The dead brother is a presence in the tree house; he was the catalyst for building it,he steadies it, sends joy up the tree, and is the tree. The speaker attempts to feel, capture, and possess his brother’s spirit. The birds remain asleep at night, waiting for the light before they start to sing. In the last stanza, the poet asks, “To sing, must I feel the world’s light?” Thus light, life, and singing are contrasted with night, death, and quiet. The poet attempts to combine the two worlds. The poem attempts to express the relation of death and night and light and living;the poem transcends his body to spiritually unite with the tree, with the dead brother, and with the “heart of the world.”

We’ve answered 318,995 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question