The author has decided to terminate the line without finishing a phrase or claus. This must be done with care because it can lead to misunderstandings if the reader does not know how the sentence would have ended.
In this case, the missing words are supplied by the imagination of the reader. Thus, the meaning of the poem is not completely clear from just reading it.
This technique is very common in poetry and helps create a mood through ambiguity. It is well known that Shakespeare used this method often in his plays to make them more interesting to watch/read.
Shakespeare used many devices to help tell a story in his plays. One way he did this was through ambiguous dialogue. For example, when Romeo asks why Juliet's coffin is silver rather than gold, her father replies that it is so that "the worms may eat him" rather than leave him alive after killing her. Here, the language we use makes plain what we want the characters in the play to understand but also leaves room for interpretation since we don't know how much of the conversation was actually said.
Ambiguous endings are not only used by poets to create a mood.
An end-stopped line is a poetic trait in which the syntactic unit (clause, sentence, or clause) matches in length to the line. Its inverse is enjambment, in which the phrase continues onto the next line. Enjambment can be used to create a visual pause or break in a poem.
End-stopping is useful in poems where all the parts must match in length, such as sonnets and villanellas. The last line of each part usually contains a full stop (period), comma, or both. This gives the reader time to breathe before the next part begins. End-stopping is also useful in poems where the length of the lines varies significantly from one another, such as free verse. By ending some of its lines with punctuation, the poet can change the tone of the poem without changing words. For example, if a poet wants to show irony but doesn't want to use an entire clause for it, he or she could end a few lines with commas instead of periods.
Enjambment is useful in poems where some parts should be longer than others, such as limericks and riddles. The last line usually contains a full stop, so that reader has time to process what was just said before moving on to the next stanza or picture.
This explains why some lines terminate in the middle of a sentence: Heaney is in such emotional anguish that he "accidentally" ends a line in the middle of a sentence. The reader feels grief and empathy as a result of this. Both of these sensations, elicited by the reader, make the reader sad, making the poetry poignant. This is called "emotional resonance".
Heaney wants us to feel what he feels so that we too will be moved to tears. His mid-term break is therefore a moving poem because it makes us feel something (in this case, grief), which causes us to think about something else (the death of a loved one), which leads to an emotion (sadness). A good poem can move us to feel, think, or both.
Heaney uses language carefully to create a beautiful scene in his readers' minds by using imagery and allusion. For example, he refers to mid-term break as if it were real life instead of poetry; thus, we imagine what it would be like to have a real-life mid-term break!
He also uses wordplay to make the poem more interesting to read. For example, he writes "accelerate" when he really means "extinguish". This creates a double meaning for the word "accelerate": not only does it mean to increase your speed but it can also mean to destroy someone or something. This adds another layer of depth and complexity to the poem!
In a poetry, a line break is a literary technique used at the conclusion of a line and the beginning of the next line. It is acceptable to use without the usage of customary punctuation. An enjambment can occur when a line break occurs in the middle of a clause. This type of break is known as a mid-line break.
Mid-line breaks can be used in free verse to indicate a new thought or idea. They are also used by some poets to avoid repeating words or phrases within a line. Mid-line breaks may also occur when trying to imitate the sound of speech or wind instruments. Some examples include: "to make a glass window sound like rain", "to create the effect of thunder, one might beat on the roof" or "if you want to sound like a trumpet, blow into the mouthpiece."
Mid-line breaks are important to understanding the meaning of a poem because they provide clues about how the author wants the reader to perceive the work. For example, if one were to read Between Two Mountains by William Carlos Williams out of context, without knowing this was a mid-line break, one would assume that every line began with a capital letter because there is no other way to distinguish one word from another. However, if one knew that between each pair of lines there was a mid-line break, one would understand that even though the words in each line are separated by spaces, they do not form complete sentences.