The Ways Youth is Lost in Death of a Naturalist, Cold Knap Lake, On My First Sonne and The Song of the Old Mother

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The Ways Youth is Lost in Death of a Naturalist, Cold Knap Lake, On My First Sonne and The Song of the Old Mother

In 'Death of a Naturalist', 'Cold Knap Lake', 'On My First Sonne' and

'The Song of the Old Mother', each poet writes about a loss of youth,

or a sense of youth no longer being present. The writer of each poem

writes about childhood and children are portrayed. In 'Death of a

Naturalist', Seamus Heaney writes about how he began puberty, and

entered adolescence. This change triggered a loss of childhood, and

his poem is an insight into this. In 'Cold Knap Lake', Gillian Clarke

writes about the doubtful death of a young child in the waters of

'Cold Knap Lake', in Barry, South Wales. In 'On My First Sonne', Ben

Jonson writes about the loss of his seven year old son as a victim of

the great plague. And finally in 'The Song of the Old Mother', W.B

Yeats tells of a mother's routine.

In 'Death of a Naturalist', Heaney writes about his childhood, and the

changes that he went through in puberty - the changes that he

undertook to transform from boy, to adolescent and finally to a man.

It is also about the loss of innocence associated with childhood, and

the lack of responsibility that a young boy possesses. In 'Death of a

Naturalist', Heaney vividly describes a childhood experience that

triggers the event of change, from the protected and innocent world of

childhood, to the uncertainty and unknown of adolescence. Heaney

portrays childhood and children as this: innocent, protected and

receptive.

Heaney writes 'Death of a Naturalist' in two sections, to emphasise

the changes in the boy: from simple to complicated. This is echoed i...

... middle of paper ...

... gets feeble and old' is a metaphor to how

her own youth has died, the seed is now feeble and cold - her youth

has passed and she is becoming older and more feeble.

All of the poems suggest a loss of youth and each poet portrays the

loss through a use of language, and a sense of atmosphere, or an

outlook on other people's youthfulness.

Heaney makes use of the four senses to create an atmosphere, and uses

this to emphasise the change between his childhood and his

adolescence. Clarke writes about the near death of a young girl in

Cold Knap Lake, South Wales and uses extensive colour references and a

sense of doubt to indicate loss. Jonson writes about his seven year

old son being lost to God, and finally Yeats writes about an old

mother losing her youthfulness and how she is reminded of this through

her children.

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