Compare and Contrast ‘On my fist Sonne’ and ‘Mid Term Break’


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Both of these poems have many similarities in their content. They both have a relationship status in the poems. The author writes about his son as he is the father. The father thinks he has done a sin, a sin that god didn’t like. These two poems have relationships in which they incorporated to the author’s life.

In ‘On My First Sonne’ this poem has a father son relationship in which the father ponders on the fact that GOD has took his son which is explained in the second line “My sin was too much hope of thee, lov’d boy.” This brings us to the conclusion that this poem has a religious view and can relate to as the date ‘1572-1637’ was in a different era where many of the citizens were very religious people. This shows that the father (author) cares about his son, and is willing to believe that god has took “Thou child of my right hand and joy,” for a punishment in which he believes for a sin he has done to god or his family.

Ben Jonson the author, has wrote this elegy to explain his inner hurt, for this is an easy and creative way to vent his feelings and beliefs why his son has been took away from him. To write a poem this full with emotion must be hard and exhausting, he must have been very miserable as his son of his ‘gift’ had been taken back. “Rest in soft peace” suggests that Ben Jonson feels that his son was taken far too early for his age, also that he wishes for his son to be in peace. This line also makes us think that the father is saying goodbye to his beloved son. Ben has structured his poem, in a short length, to represent his son’s short life. This is a creative way share out his feelings. Ben Jonson’s poem reflects on the father’s pain for a lost child. He doesn’t usually write many poems that show his true feelings he normally is very cynical in his poems.

‘On My First Sonne’ this poem has rhyming couplets all the way through the poem, this poem has used many old English words so most of them are now pronounced different. So it’s as thought it does not rhyme. For example “Seven years thou wert lent to me, and I thee pay. Exacted by the fate, on the just day.

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” This rhyming couplet also explains the young age In which his son had died. In this poem the father can accept the death of his loved one and is coming to terms with his death. Quite different to the other poem ‘Mid-term Break’.

‘Mid-term Break’ is related to the poem ‘On My First Sonne’ as they are both elegies which explain the hurt and commotion in their part of their life in which this sudden death has been exposed. The poem has a 3 way stanza to contemplate how many years of life his little brother died, at the end of the poem there is one line to itself, this can also be used to give the last year of his life importance. His poem explains his way through this horrible ordeal, and the way in which he coped. Same as the other poem this poem is also an elegy to explain his inner hurt for a certain person in his family.

Seamus Heaney has created a life like poem, in which he has written what I thought to believe what has happened in his life time. This other unique poem has different and similar way to the other poem. This also has a traditional side to itself, as people in Ireland bring home the corpses, to see them before the day of the funeral. Each poem that Seamus had written which were in a certain book, where all based on some true stories. He has a hidden message written in all of them including ‘Mid-term Break’ they aren’t that clear and obvious at first but you can figure it out. ‘Mid-term Break’ has no rhyming couplets until the end as it says “No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear. A four foot box, a foot for every year.” This sentence brings the whole day to an end and brings the emotion into the readers head.

Heaney has added the word ‘knelling’ into the poem, as this is associated with the ringing bells at a funeral. This goes greatly with the poem as it’s an elegy, and gives the poem its eerie/morbid mood. In all the commotion in the poem he is between the ages of everyone else and doesn’t know what to do. He feels like an outsider in his own house, Seamus never shows a lot of emotion in this poem it’s as though he is trying to be strong for his family. In the stanzas near to the beginning Heaney has used such words to describe the time lasting longer in the poem. This author has dragged on the fact that this person who is the deceased brother cannot get over his death and I believe that he is not showing no emotion in the poem but inside its really killing him.

These poems are both fantastically written, and gives the readers a sense of emotion for the father/brother. The poems are both elegies and put across their message in different ways. These poems are very upsetting to read but you can feel for the person’s in the poem.



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