Mudcat Café message #3554815 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #152057   Message #3554815
Posted By: Marje
31-Aug-13 - 03:37 PM
Thread Name: Seamus Heaney - your favourite poem
Subject: RE: Seamus Heaney - your favourite poem
Thanks for the above examples, one and all. I came across "Mid Term Break" when my daughter studied it at school and was knocked out by it.
I'll paste it in here - as you read it, look at how he gradually draws you in and lets you see a little more in each line, but keeping the final details until the last line - in fact, the last word. Still gives me goosebumps.

Mid-Term Break

I sat all morning in the college sick bay
Counting bells knelling classes to a close.
At two o'clock our neighbors drove me home.

In the porch I met my father crying--
He had always taken funerals in his stride--
And Big Jim Evans saying it was a hard blow.

The baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pram
When I came in, and I was embarrassed
By old men standing up to shake my hand

And tell me they were 'sorry for my trouble,'
Whispers informed strangers I was the eldest,
Away at school, as my mother held my hand

In hers and coughed out angry tearless sighs.
At ten o'clock the ambulance arrived
With the corpse, stanched and bandaged by the nurses.

Next morning I went up into the room. Snowdrops
And candles soothed the bedside; I saw him
For the first time in six weeks. Paler now,

Wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple,
He lay in the four foot box as in his cot.
No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear.

A four foot box, a foot for every year.