Writing a poetry essay. MID-TERM BREAK –Seamus Heaney Created by: D. Troskie STEP 1 READ YOUR QUESTION • Make sure that you know what you are asked to write about. • Highlight your instructions to insure that you stay on topic. QUESTION 1: In a perfectly planned essay, critically discuss how the poet uses the title and imagery to convey the message of the poem. Your essay must be 200250 words (about ONE page) in length. STEP 2 START YOUR PLANNING WHAT IS THE MESSAGE OF THIS POEM? • Death changes everything. • Death changes relationships. HOW DID THE POET USE THE TITLE TO CONVEY THE MESSAGE OF THE POEM? What is the title? - Mid-term break • Irony Mid-term break - Something joyful - Something learners are excited about. Within the poem - It is not a time filled with joy as the speaker’s younger sibling passed away. - The speaker is not excited about going home as despair and heartbreak will be welcoming him home. HOW DID THE POET USE IMAGERY TO CONVEY THE MESSAGE OF THE POEM? Find Imagery in the poem. An 1. 2. ominous indication ofcollege something unpleasant. I sat all morning in the sick bay Counting bells knelling classes to a close. At two o'clock our neighbours drove me home. Unusual sight or funeral. ring solemnly, especially for a death 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. In the porch I met my father crying – He had always taken funerals in his stride – First confirmation of sad family gathering. And Big Jim Evans saying it was a hard blow. Old to greet a school boypram – The men baby standing cooed andup laughed and rocked the Family sadness causes people to treat him When I came in, and I was embarrassed differently. By old men standing up to shake my hand Discuss how the poet uses imagery to convey the message of the poem. MESSAGE: Death changes things. 10. And tell me they were 'sorry for my trouble'. 11. Whispers informed strangers I was the eldest, He witnesses anguish Away at school,his asmother’s my mother held my hand (mental suffering) 12. Discuss how the poet uses imagery to convey the message of the poem. 13. In hers and coughed out angry tearless sighs. 14. At ten o'clock the ambulance arrived 15. With the corpse, stanched and bandaged by the nurses. 16. Next morning I went up into the room. Snowdrops 17. And candles soothed the bedside; I saw him 18. For the first time in six weeks. Paler now, MESSAGE: Death changes things. He witnesses the reason for his brother’s death The speaker is very specific about the size of the coffin. 19. Wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple, 20. He lay in the four-foot box as in his cot. 21. No room gaudy scars, the bumper knocked himand clear. Repetition of ‘four-foot’ underlines the tragedy of A child’s should be filled with laughter alife, child’s death but this room is filled with sadness and death. 22. A four-foot box, a foot for every year. The speaker attempts to come to terms with this untimely death. MESSAGE: Death changes things. Discuss how the poet uses imagery to convey the message of the poem. Your written planning should look like this STEP 3 Write your essay Your essay MUST have - an introduction - a body - a conclusion Paragraph 1 - Introduction Heaney used both the title and imagery to convey the message of the poem. The message of this poem is that death changes things: How people act towards those in morning, how people in morning will experience everyday situations differently, and how life changes because of loss. Paragraph 2 - Body The title’s ironic as a mid-term break usually refers to a time that learners are excited about, a jubilant time. The break that the speaker’s taking from school, is filled with sorrow and pain, it’s a somber time that the speaker isn’t looking forward to. The death of his sibling changed the excitement of going back home, into a dreadful experience. Paragraph 3 - Body The poem starts with bells that’s knelling. The word knelling means ‘ring solemnly’. Sitting in the sick bay, even the bells foreshadows the sorrow that will be experienced. A bell ringing to signal the end of a period or day, is a jubilant time for learners, but for the speaker, this bell is counting off the time he has left before experiencing great sorrow. Paragraph 4 - Body Entering his home, he experiences the gathering of family and friends. Such a gathering’s usually filled with laughter and entertainment, but all he’s experiencing is sorrow: His dad’s crying, older men are standing up to shake his hand to give condolence, even his mother is bereaved. Everything changed following death. Paragraph 5 - Conclusion Death doesn’t only remove a loved one, it changes how those close to the deceased experience life without him, and how others act during the time of mourning. [250 Words] NOTES • Use your own words when you write the essay. • If you lift from the poem, you have to explain the part that you lifted, in your own words. • DO NOT retell the poem, you have to EXPLAINE the poem • You do not have to mention everything in the poem, mention a few points and explain them well. • DO NOT indicate the introduction, body and conclusion in your essay. YOU ONLY WRITE YOUR DIFFERENT PARAGRAPHS AS IT IS AN ESSAY. DO NOT WRITE THIS IN YOUR FINAL. THIS IS ONLY ADDED IN THE PRESENTATION TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA OF HOW TO STRUCTURE YOUR PARAGRAPHS. STEP 4 Make sure you followed all your instructions. In a perfectly planned essay, critically discuss how the poet uses the title and imagery to convey the message of the poem. Your essay must be 200250 words (about ONE page) in length.