Slides in this set
Seamus Heaney was born on April 12th 1939, on a farm
in Castle Dawson, County Derry, Northern Ireland.
He was the eldest of eight children. In 1963, he began
teaching at St. Joseph's College in Belfast. Here, he
began to write, joining a poetry workshop with Derek
Mahon, Michael Longley, and others under the
guidance of Philip Hobsbaum.
In 1965, he married Marie Devlin, and in 1966 he
published his first book of poetry, Death of a
Naturalist. His other poetry includes Door into the
Dark, Wintering out, North, Selected Poems, Station
Island, The Haw Lantern, New Selected Poems and
Seamus Heaney is a Foreign member of the American
Academy of Arts and Letters.
He was a professor at Oxford from 1989 to 1994.
In 1995 he received the Nobel Prize in
literature. He has lived in Dublin since 1976.
Since 1981 he has spent part of each year
teaching at Harvard University, where he is a
Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory.…read more
· Death: Seamus Heaney does not make it obvious that the poem will be
about death. as he names it `mid-term break'. You can also see he doesn't
show his own emotions which means he is detached to the idea of his
brother being dead.
· Childhood memories: he also relates to how his schooling years were
like, how he remembered his brothers death accurately after 13 years.
· Family relationship: you can see his parents are more concerned about
his brothers death than his feelings.…read more
General summary of poem
This poem explores the mixture of
overwhelming grief and isolation felt by a
young man who returns home to his younger
We learn about some of the feelings the poet was going through
during the time of his brothers death. He was "embarrassed' and
`angry' on the fact that he wasn't told about his brothers death,
he was informed about his brothers funeral only, as he was away
from home during the death of his brother.
The poet doesn't express any sad emotions that you'd expect him to
because he wants to detach himself from this heart break. Also,
he hasn't had the time to grieve, or think about what has
happened, properly. Its still a shock.…read more
Throughout the poem every stanza contains three lines.
This use of short stanzas adds to the overall child like feeling of the poem, but
also proposes other things.
The three lines symbolise that whoever died was young. In addition the lines
also make reference to the way a funeral bell is tolled.
The continuing use of enjambment gives a measured recessive feeling to each
stanza and creates a sense that something's missing in the poets life.…read more