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About the Poet: Seamus Heaney
· Born in 1939
· An Irish poet, playwright, translator, lecturer and in 1995 won the
Nobel Prize in literature
· His writing is drawn from his Irish roots and surroundings
· Heaney's brother died when he was a young boy. `Mid term break' is
the first poem he wrote about his brothers death from the point of
view as him as a child
· `The blackbird of Glanmore' is also about his brothers death, but the
point of view is from him as an adult
· `The blackbird of Glanmore was first
published in 2006…read more

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The poem is made up of 5 line stanzas and then
one line on its own. The gap separating out the
singular lines helps emphasise those lines, and
suggests loneliness of Heaney without his
The poem is circular. It begins with an arrival
and ends with a departure, and the first line is
repeated at the end of the poem.…read more

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The poem has:
Irregular rhythm
No rhyme scheme
Sounds natural as if we were hearing Heaney's
thoughts…read more

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Language (Notable Features):
· Contemplative language
· Feeling of sadness and loss in places, especially when
thinking about the past or future
· Joyful language
· Words mimic the blackbirds bright and lively
· Give sense of Heaney's happiness
· Hard consonants are used creating rhythm similar to
birds jerky movements
· Varied pace creates different effects:
­ Slow pace represents reflection
­ Fast pace represents quick movement…read more

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Contrasts of
life when the
poem is about Stanza One
death Blackbird
Links bird with
Idea of fragility On the grass when I arrive, life, not death
similar to
Heaney's Filling the stillness with life,
memory of
brother But ready to scare off Constantly
tense/aware of
At the very first wrong move. surrounding
movements and
Heaney takes care not to
In the ivy when I leave human presence
scare the bird ­ hanging
onto his brother As if the bird is always watching over Heaney
Its you, blackbird, I love. Emphatic
important emotion
throughout the
poem…read more

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