Comparison of pre 1914 and current poems

The third aspect of the poem I analysed is the imagery used in the poems. In both poems, there is around the same amount of use of imagery, however compared to many other poems, there is very little imagery used in the form of similes, however, there are lots of adjectives, and if the poems are read carefully, you see that there are metaphors used also. In Mid-Term Break, there are only a few uses of imagery. One use is “poppy bruise.

” I think that the word poppy may actually be a metaphor for remembrance, and the poet may be showing that he will remember the bruise forever, and that everyone should remember his brother, as he feels his brother is just as important as the war veterans remembered on Remembrance Day. Another metaphor in the poem may be “snowdrops soothed the bedside,” the poet may be showing that snowdrops are actually a sign of cold, which relates to death. On the other hand, it is used in the context of soothing, which may mean that he is showing that snowdrops are very soft, and comfortable, as his brother is now in heaven.

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The final use of imagery may be in the language used in the poem, in the phrase “corpse, stanched and bandaged by the nurses.” The word corpse creates an image of disgust, and horror in my mind, and the bandages seem to make the image worse, as if the death was unnatural, and the boy did not die peacefully.

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This may be showing the unrest in the poets mind.

In The Laboratory, there are also very few similes, and instead, the poet relies mainly on metaphors, and powerful words and adjectives for imagery. One simile used in the poem is “soft like the phials,” this could be the poem showing that even something that looks nice, and harmless, can actually be deadly, just like the woman. A metaphor in the poem is “my eyes bear on her so,” this might be the poet using the word bear in the context of a vicious animal. He may be showing that deep down, she wants to kill her rival; just a bear kills its prey. Another metaphor in the poem is “devil’s smithy,” this could show that the woman and the old man are doing the work of the devil, however, even though she knows this, she still continues. This might be the poet suggesting, again, that the woman is evil and that she knows it. Powerful adjectives are also used in the poem to create imagery, such as exquisite blue.” This could be the poet showing again, that the woman thinks of death as something that is amazing, and beautiful, and does not think about death as a negative thing. Finally, the phrase “dying face” gives an image similar to that in Mid-Term Break given by the phrase “corpse stanched and bandaged.” The poet may have used this phrase to give a picture of a screaming, dying woman in your mind, showing the true pain of death.

The next aspect of the poems I analysed is the use of rhythm and rhyme in the poems. Both poems differ greatly in their use of rhythm and rhyme. In the poem Mid-Term Break, there is only one use of rhyme; however, the one use of rhyme could have a deep subliminal meaning. This use of rhyme is at the end of the poem, a rhyming couplet in the final two lines, “clear” and “year.” I think that this rhyme at the end may be the poet showing that at the beginning of the poem, he is too confused, and grief-stricken to put any rhymes in the poem, however, as the poem progresses, his mind clears, and at the end of the poem, he has accepted what has happened, and is now ready to begin grieving. I think he rhyme shows that his mind is now cleared, and he is able to think straight, and able to rhyme. The rhyme also adds impact at the end of the poem, and gives a good ending to the poem, which could be the poet showing the end of the poem, is like the end of his brother’s life. When reading the poem Mid-Term Break, I do not think that there is a particular rhythm to the poem, and that everyone would read it at their own pace. I feel that the reason the poet may have not used a rhythm in the poem as poems with a rhythm, or a beat, are usually fairly fast, happier poems.

Mid-Term Break is a sad poem, which is full of grief and anguish, and I feel that the poet may not have used any rhythm to show that different people grieve at different rates, and some people take longer than others to recover. In The Laboratory, there is lots of use of rhyme and rhythm, and the use of rhythm, combined with language changes the speed at which you read the poem. The poem is in rhyming couplets all the way through, which again, just like the structure of the poem could be the poet showing a plan, just like the murder is planned by the woman. There is a good rhythm to the poem, which starts off fairly slow. There are many one syllable words in the poem, which combine with some 2 syllable words to create a rhythm that gradually speeds up. Certain words in the poem are stressed, especially the powerful verbs such as “pound,” and this also adds to the rhythm, as well as adding effect to the words. At first, the rhythm of the poem is fairly slow, and the poet may use phrases such as “I am not in haste!” to show this, however, as the poem continues, the rhythm speeds up rapidly. I feel this could have been done by the poet to show the woman’s anxiety, and is due to phrases like “Quick- is it finished?” and “is it done?”

The penultimate aspect of the poems I compared is the tone of the poems, which are completely different, apart from in a few lines in Mid-Term Break. In Mid-Term break, there are many frequent tone changes, unlike in The Laboratory, where the tone remains almost the same throughout. In Mid-Term break, the tone is fairly melancholy, and sad due to words such as “crying” and “sick.” I think these words may have been used by the poet to show true sadness, and therefore, you read the poem in a sad tone, however, later on in the poem the tone changes. At the start of stanza two, there is a rapid contrast to the sadness, and words used such as “cooed and laughed” gives a more happy tone, however, this does not last. I think this contrast of tone is the poet showing how even through the saddest of times, the baby could remain happy, and positive, and he should too. Later on in the poem, the sadness, turns into anger, through phases such as “angry tearless sighs,” I think that this may be the poet showing that, at one point, instead of being sad that he had lost his brother, he was angry at the person who killed him.

At the end of the poem, the tone becomes much more soft, and gentle, and I feel this is the poet showing that he has forgiven the person who killed his brother, has cleared his mind, and has accepted what has happened. Words such as “candles” may help to create a calming atmosphere, which change the tone of your voice. In the Laboratory, there is the same, angry, harsh tone throughout, which I think shows the true insanity, and anger of the woman towards her rival. I think that this tone is created due to the powerful words in the poem, such as “minion” and “ensnared.” I think that the poet could have used this tone to make you feel as if you were the speaker, and make you feel more involved in the murder.

The final thing I compared in the poems is the subject, or theme of the poems, which are the same, death. However, the theme of the poems is also very different, as in the different poems, people are on different sides of the death. In Mid-Term break, the story is true, and is what Seamus Heaney had to go through when he was younger. His four year old brother was hit by a car, and later, died. Seamus Heaney had not seen his brother for months before the accident, as he had been away at boarding school, and this hurt him even more, that he had not spoken to his brother in months, and that he did not care, and now that he had been taken away, it tore open his heart.

I feel that the poem may have been written to show that death can be extremely quick, and that you can lose anyone you love in seconds, and that if you do, it will break your heart. I feel that the moral of this poem is that you should always appreciate, and treasure everyone you love, no matter what happens, and that you should always love them, as they can be taken away in seconds, and if they are, it will break your heart. On the other hand, in The Laboratory, the story is about a woman who has broken up with her partner, and how he has left her for a new, more beautiful woman. I feel that this sends the woman insane, and now, all she wants to do is to kill his new lover, and watch his heart breaking, just as hers did. In this poem, the woman is driven only by hatred, and is now hell bent on the death of her ex partner’s new lover. I feel that this poem may be about relationships, and what can happen if you do not make a wise decision about who you have relations with. I feel that also, as there are many references to jewels and gold such as “gorge gold to your fill,” compared to the beauty of the vials around the laboratory, as shown by “exquisite blue,” that the poet could be showing that money is actually the root of all evil. The woman in the poem does not care about all of her jewels and gold, and the thing she does think is beautiful, is something which could cause death. I feel that the morals of the poem are that money can be the root of evil, and that you should be careful with whom you hurt, as some people can be mentally unstable, and could cause you great grief and sadness in the future.

The poets in the poems may be showing that death can do different things to different people, and if someone has the power to kill, or experience someone close to them dying, they can react in different ways to the experience. In The Laboratory, the woman who is going to kill her husband’s new lover actually goes crazy with the power. This is shown in many ways, one way it is shown is in stanza seven, when we can sense her anticipation in words such as “quick- is it finished?”Also, in stanza six, she becomes enthralled with power, and even talks about killing another woman, simply because she is prettier than her, which could be the poet showing she is amazed with the power she has. In Mid-Term Break, the people on the other end of the death react in a completely opposite manner, with words such as “crying” and “sick.” I feel that may be the poet showing that they are grief stricken, and extremely sad. Therefore, even though the theme in both poems is the same, the poems have two completely different stories, and morals.

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Comparison of pre 1914 and current poems. (2020, Jun 01). Retrieved from

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