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Catrin by Gillian Clarke, The Affliction of Margaret by William Wordsworth, On My First Sonne by Ben Jonson and Digging by Seamus Heaney all present passionate relationships between parent and child through the use of tone, languag

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'Catrin' by Gillian Clarke, 'The Affliction of Margaret' by William Wordsworth, 'On My First Sonne' by Ben Jonson and 'Digging' by Seamus Heaney all present passionate relationships between parent and child through the use of tone, language and perspective. 'The Affliction of Margaret' and 'Catrin' both deal with the struggle of a mother. However in Catrin, the tone of the mother begins as a frustrated one and gradually changes into a protective and more attached tone. Clarke illustrates the powerful emotions with her child through the colour imagery and tone. "Of our struggle to become separate. We want, we shouted, to be two, to be ourselves." Clarke's tension and aggravation can be felt by the reader due to her short imperative lines and also her metaphor of the taught rope/umbilical cord "trailing love and conflict", the intense emotions are highlighted especially as the contrast from the beginning of the poem is so different to that of the ending. It is somewhat ironic, that during the childbirth it was the mother who fought to get rid of her child, to be free of such a burden. ...read more.


Is her hysteria really the result of her loss? Or is it her hysteria that is the cause of the loss? The ambiguity of the relationship in this poem makes Margaret seem even more so desperate than she actually is. Her emotions are heightened by the uncertainty of her son's whereabouts. On My First Sonne explores a similar idea of loss with The Affliction of Margaret, the difference being that Ben Jonson knows that his son shall not return. Ben Jonson illustrates his relationship by using the extended metaphor of his son being a gift from God. "Seven yeeres tho'wert lent to me, and I thee pay." He also refers to his son as "thou child of my right hand" this suggests a fundamental part of him is missing, this idea is also presented in the incomplete title "On My First Sonne" the poem is one rhyming couplet away from being a sonnet and the title one letter away from being the complete word 'Sonnet'. ...read more.


Although Heaney appears distant from his father - due to their different interests - he has chosen to stay connected to his roots through writing about his homeland and digging. "Between my finger and my thumb, the squat pen rests. I'll dig with it." He still feels a great sense of pride and attachment to his father, but he simply "has no spade to follow men like them." All these poems illustrate different strengths and weaknesses within family relationships through using poetic techniques such as language, tone and perspective; I also think it is incredibly interesting how the only poem written from the child's perspective 'Digging' is the poem where emotions seem more distant than the rest, suggesting that parental voices are more attached. Both On My First Sonne and The Affliction of Margaret cope with the loss of a child differently and they are explored in different manners. Clarke mainly uses the idea of juxtaposition to highlight the different attitudes faced within relationships, as no relationship stays the same. I think all these poems create a strong voice, and illustrate different relationships extremely well with the help of poetic techniques. ...read more.

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