In this essay I will be comparing and commenting on the poems ‘My
first Sonne’, by Ben Johnson and ‘Mid Term Break’ by Seamus Heaney.
These poems are all a reflection on a close relative’s death and
portray the poet’s emotions, feelings and thoughts. However while Ben
Johnson loses a son Seamus Heaney loses a brother, from these poems we
see two different types of emotions.
Mid term break is an autobiographical poem written by Seamus Heaney
when thinking back about the death of his little brother. ‘My first
Sonne’ is also autobiographical, but is about the death of Ben
Johnson’s seven year old son. Despite the fact that both poems are
about death the poets’ emotions are very different, ban Johnson
regrets loving his son and Heaney finds peace when he sees his brother
In life there is a moral order of death, which is that parents should
never have to bury their children, but both the poems are the opposite
of the moral order. Even though both poems are different responses to
death I think that they are both equally effective. The poets’ use of
lexis, structures and themes help make their poems effective.
Meaning is important in both poems, it shows us that death can strike
at any time and can have a great impact on us. I think both poems have
straight forward meaning- we see Benn Johnson trying to create meaning
in his poem for why his son died. Ben Johnson blames himself for
loving his child too much, even though we know that infant mortality
was high at this point. Johnson does not take into mind the context of
the time he was living in.
Structure is important in poems as it affects the rhythm and the tone,
this could affect the whole meaning of a ...
... middle of paper ...
...e Gods with Jesus’. Even
though the reader may not be religious the use of expressions makes it
easier to understand than Mid Term Break.
Heaney in his final line uses alliteration to end the poem, this final
stanza gains our sympathy and we empathise with him. Johnson uses a
similar technique, using his final line to gain the views
understanding and sympathy.
Both poets use words which describe what has happened and how they
feel, for example Johnson describes his son being ‘exacted’. This is
another meaning for collecting, debt collecting.
I feel that both poems are effective in their meaning- however
personally My First Sonne gains my empathy more than Mid- Term Break.
I think this is because it is more understandable and not as complex.
Having lost a close person I can understand what Johnson feels- a rush
of anger followed by love and regret.
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