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Comparison of On my first sonne and mid-term break

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Introduction

Comparing and Contrasting "On My First Sonne" And "Mid-Term Break" The two poems, "On My First Sonne" by Ben Jonson and "Mid-Term Break" by Seamus Heaney, are both about the death of young children and how the aftermath affects the recently deceased family. The poems are written from two different points of view. A father who loses his 7 year old boy "Seven yeeres tho' wert lent to me" and a brother who 4 year old brother dies "A four foot box, a foot for every year." The first obvious language contrast is that "On My First Sonne" is written in old English, whereas "Mid-Term Break" is written in a conversational modern way. The first line of "Mid-Term Break" "I sat all morning in the college sick bay" has two separate meanings. "Morning" as in before afternoon or "morning" as in grieving. In line 6 Heaney says "And Big Jim Evans saying it was a hard blow" illustrates that even a strong, tough man is sad about the death of this 4 year old. The 3rd stanza is full of different techniques. Rule of 3 "The baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pram" is written because people tend to remember lists of three i.e. ...read more.

Middle

It is disjointed from the poem so it is magnified in your brain. "On My first Sonne" is written as if the reader is the son. The first line says "Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy;" suggests his son is to him like Jesus is to God and that he is very proud of him. "My sinne was too much hope for thee, lov'd boy," is said because in 1616, when this poem was written, you shouldn't love anybody more than you loved God. God was your number 1 priority, not your family as Ben Jonson has written and he feels that was the reason his son was taken from him. The subject of the poem refers to his son being "lent" to him which implies he was never really his. God is the controller of the Earth and its people so he can easily change things suddenly. With the loss of his son, Ben Jonson has lost his role as a father, but he says "O, could I loose all father, now." The "all" refers to him losing God as well. He has now lost his role as a father and has lost his own "father" too. ...read more.

Conclusion

Neither poems describe the actually deaths in detail so both poems are about how people feel afterwards. "On My First Sonne" has the same basic structure as a sonnet: It is 12 lines long and ends in a rhyming couplet. "Mid-Term Break" however is written in stanzas 3 lines long whereas "On my First Sonne" is just written in one big block. This poem is also written in all rhyming couplets. This ends this subject in the readers mind so that section of the poem is complete. "Mid-Term Break" only has one rhyming couplet which is at the end. In conclusion, I think that both are brilliantly written but I personally prefer "Mid-Term Break" as the last sentence "A four foot box, a foot for every year" has had a big impact on me. 'On my first Sonne' and 'Mid-term break' explore different ways a childhood death can affect you. In 'Mid-term Break', Heaney uses the many ways of morning (i.e. jealousy, anger, depression) to show the effects caused by the death of a child. Whereas, 'On my first Sonne' is more focused on giving reason to deaths and the aftermath caused by the death of the child. Both of these methods are very effective in helping the reader feel the trauma that the death of a child can cause. ...read more.

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