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A Parental Ode to my son (Thomas Hood) and Upon my Son Samuel (Anne Bradsheet) comparison

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Introduction

A Parental Ode to my son (Thomas Hood) and Upon my Son Samuel (Anne Bradsheet) are both poems about parental relationships. Compare and contrast how each poet presents the relationship and say which poem you prefer and why. In your answer you should consider: * Treatment of theme, * Use of language and imagery, * Form, * Context. 'A Parental ode to my Son, aged Three Years and Five months,' by Thomas Hood, was written about Hood's own son. The poet contrasts the idealised view of childhood with the reality of his son, John's, misbehaviour. This makes the poem quite humorous and light hearted. 'Upon My Son Samuel on his going for England, November 8, 1657, ' by Anne Bradsheet, is also about her son. However, this poem is more serious as, the poet was a Puritan woman. She was controversial at the time the poem was published as it was a rarity that woman's literature was published. She left England for the New World in 1630 and lived in a Puritan society. Puritans were strong in belief that God controls everything. Bradsheet named her son Samuel after the story of Hannah and Samuel in the bible. Hannah struggled to conceive, like Bradsheet, but God gave her a son. Perhaps, the reasons for Bradsheet's worries as her Son left for England were influenced by the fact that she had made the opposite journey in 1930. ...read more.

Middle

The poem is personal, like 'A Parental Ode...' as it includes the name of her son, Samuel, and gives the idea that she is confessing all her worries to God. A prayer is usually about personal thoughts and feelings. The language used in 'A Parental Ode...' is typical of the form of an ode. The poet uses the words 'thee' and 'thou,' to lift the estimation of the boy to almost holy level. He also uses images of fantasy creatures like 'happy elf!' 'laughing sprite,' 'tricksy Puck,' and 'cherub,' to make the reader imagine the child as a perfect angel. These show the idealized view of childhood as a time of sweetness and innocence. The poem also includes religious images like 'untouched by sorrow and unsoiled by sin,' and 'Youth's Elysium,' again, to show the poets rose-tinted view of his son and the godly innocence of John. The idea of the child's youth being a time of innocence, as his life is just beginning, is also shown by natural images like 'With pure heart stamped from Nature's mint,' 'No storms, no clouds, in thy foreseeing sky,' and 'Thou pretty opening rose.' These are romantic images that show how the poet praises his son. The line, 'Thou pretty opening rose!' and then the bracketed phrase 'go to your mother child and wipe your nose!' ...read more.

Conclusion

The word 'happefy'd' is invented by the poet to show how she will take comfort in her son being happy with God. 'A Parental Ode...' uses alliteration like 'untouched by sorrow and unsoiled by sin,' 'fit playfellow for fays' and 'thou human humming bee,' to high light the important lines. It also uses repetition like 'no storms, no clouds,' to emphasise the meaning of the lines. Enjamblement is used to make the poem flow smoothly and emphasise the idea of perfection, like 'thou human humming-bee, extracting honey from ever blossom in the world that blows.' 'Upon my Son Samuel...' also uses alliteration like 'thee to trust and 'bring him back,' to high light the important phrases. The poem, like A Parental Ode, uses enjamblement like 'I here resign into thy hand the son of prayers , of vows of tears,' and 'persuade my heart I shall him see for ever happefy'd with thee.' These lines high light the poet's main wishes of the poem. I feel that although both poems are effective in expressing how the parents want to protect their children, 'A Parental Ode...' is more effective due to the use of brackets. The poem is comic and the many images in the poem make it easier to imagine what the poet is thinking. I feel the simple language and style of 'Upon My Son Samuel...' is boring and not as effective. The amusing style of 'A Parental Ode...' makes it more interesting and memorable. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 Laura Abernethy 12U ...read more.

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