Infant Mortality in We are Seven by William Wordsworth and On My First Sonne by Ben Johnson

Infant Mortality in We are Seven by William Wordsworth and On My First Sonne by Ben Johnson

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Infant Mortality in We are Seven by William Wordsworth and On My First Sonne by Ben Johnson

The two poems are 'We are Seven' by William Wordsworth and 'On My
First Sonne' by Ben Jonson.

Prior to 1900 infant mortality featured in most peoples lives but
although it was expected it still created personal catastrophe which
could be devastating. Although both 'We are Seven' and 'On My First
Sonne' are both taking about the subject of infant mortality, they
portray it in a very different way. Wordsworth's poem is about a young
girl who does not recognize death as a separation or loss which the
narrator feels he is trying to explain to her but in fact the girl
teaches him a lot more than he teaches her. Jonson's poem is about the
father-son relationship, an exploration of a father's feelings on the
loss of his son.

In Jonson's poem we get an insight into how Jonson is feeling over the
loss of his son. Jonson's poem has a complex structure and we can see
from this that perhaps he wanted to focus his mind on a poem to try
and ease the pain of his loss. The poem can also suggest to us that at
this point Jonson's feelings are also very complex as he uses
different arguments in his poem to try and convince himself that his
son is now at and advantage.

"My Sinne was too much hope of thee, lov'd boy"

In the opening lines we see how Jonson feels that he has loved his son
too much and that his future was too dependent on his son.

"Seven yeeres th'wert lent to me, and I thee pay,"

We see how Jonson feels at this point saying that he was only lent to
him and now he is paying for it because of the pain he is
experiencing. Jonson has ...

... middle of paper ...

..., as we see that the children's lives are celebrated not
just mourned over. It is not only the content that makes Wordsworth's
poem have a happy mood but it is the way he has made the poem very
simple without complicated language.

The two poems are both exploring the subject of infant mortality but
for different purposes. Wordsworth's poem is to try and inform people,
not only about infant mortality but of everyday judgements that are
made. Jonson's poem is one that was probably written for himself, as a
way of coping with grieve he was faced with. Although the poets have
very different opinions we can see in both how infant mortality was a
major fact in live before 1900. We can also see how it affected the
people who were involved. This was in very different ways, as people
react to different situations differently.

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