At this point the reader still does not know who it is that the speaker has lost. Death is an awkward subject that most want to avoid in life but it is also one that dominates people lives the most. This is because it stays with the reader long after they have read the poem. Stanza Six In the second to last stanza the speaker is finally able to confront the body. They took him home In the porch I met my father crying— His father is distressed He had always taken funerals Never walked with pride in his stride— And Big Jim Evans saying it was a hard blow hit The baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pram mother has died When I came in, and I was embarrassed By old men standing up to shake my hand they are feeling sorry for him And tell me they were 'sorry for my trouble'.
There are no great injuries that he can see but he knows this is due to the fact that this person was thrown by the bumper of a car. You get suspicious when he is being picked up his neighbour, which could indicate that something serious has happened. Because the car hit the boy directly on the head there are no unsightly scars; the boy reminds the speaker of when he was a baby in his cot. Heaney allows the reader to seem unlike a passive observer, but rather, a participant in his work. I guess that it is set in Ireland, he gives clues of this throughout the poem and as he is originally from Ireland I think that it is a safe presumption to make. The narrator of the poem is taken to be Seamus Heaney himself, and expresses his emotional trauma that has come about due to the accident and the way he perceives his parents dealing with the grief.
Instead, we're gradually taken into the grieving world of the first person speaker, and the seriousness of the situation soon becomes clear. He does not know how to respond to it. This style suits the poem, as it has a somber mood, with a delicate touch of silence. The tuck and frill Of leaf-sprout is on the seed potates Buried under that straw. This stanza tells us that we are witnessing a funeral. In the first stanza he uses words that draw out the stanza and make it seem to last a long time. Seamus Heaney himself is the narrator in the poem, Mid-term Break, a sad story from his childhood.
Compare the role of father with mother in this respect, at opposite ends of the grieving spectrum. Everything he observes is understated, and we find out that the funeral was that of someone who had been hit by a car and killed. In the development of the poem, Shapiro describes the atmosphere that surrounds a city at night when there is a car accident; Blood all over the streets and gutters, the police covering the situation and the crowd observing the tragic accident, recalling death as enemy. The end of end poem is the next morning, where he sees his brother for the first time in six weeks. It's the mother who takes on some of the grief in the form of anger as the speaker holds her hand in a room of strangers and prepares himself for the arrival of the body 'stanched and bandaged. When the tragedy struck he was only fourteen.
The next day however he feels compelled to go upstairs to have one last personal meeting. The emotions of the poem are beautifully poignant, and this allows the reader to be transported to a world of different experience, such as the repression. I sympathise with Heaney to a great length as it is a tragic loss to lose a family member especially if it is someone you are exceptionally close to like a brother or sister. Death is an awkward subject that most want to avoid in life but it is also one that dominates people lives the most. Wrights father abandons the family and he must live with his Aunt and maternal grandmother.
This tells the reader that the mid-term break is not a school holiday, as classes are still taking place. Heaney softens the mood slightly by introducing us to a baby in the third stanza but this is countered when old men offer their hands to shake. No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear. Snowdrops are the first flowers to show in winter, bursting through the cold earth, sparked by the increasing light. He then remembers his teacher telling him all about frogs in a section that speaks volumes about childhood innocence.
The writer uses many techniques including similes, metaphors and beautiful lexical choice to convey the sombre and miserable situation of his brother's death. In fact, this poem is very cleverly written and is extremely emotional. It is only four feet long, the same length as the years he lived on the earth. First, the speaker gives some details regarding the state of the body. His father is crying, and his mother is unable to even speak. I sat all morning in the college sick bay Counting bells knelling classes to a close.
He is then met by his mother who is in such a state of shock and disbelief that she is coughing out angry and tearless sighs, meaning that she cannot come to terms with what has happened. Driven home he responds impassively to the reactions of family and neighbours before coming face to face with his departing brother and finding a formula for expressing his growing awareness. A four foot box, a foot for every year. He is conscious of the way he is being observed and talked about; this reinforces the idea of the boy having to grow up for this event. He describes his parents' different ways of displaying grief, visitors paying their respects, and his encounter of his brother's corpse in its coffin the next morning.