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Discuss how the poets of Piano, Remember, Refugee Mother and Child, Funeral Blues, A Case of Murder and On My First Sonne convey the theme of loss and death.

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Introduction

Jemma Jones Discuss how the poets of Piano, Remember, Refugee Mother and Child, Funeral Blues, A Case of Murder and On My First Sonne convey the theme of loss and death. The theme of death is commonly used in the world of literature; it exists as one of the defying elements in the writing of poetry. Maybe because at some point in our lives, we must all face the dreaded idea of death. The poems Piano by the Victorian poet D.H Lawrence, Refugee Mother And Child by the Nigerian poet Chinua Achebe, Funeral Blues by the English poet W.H Auden, A Case of Murder by the illustrious Vernon Scannell, Remember by the romantic Christina Rossetti and On My first Sonne by the English Renaissance poet Ben Jonson, use a selection of poetic techniques in order to convey a broad variety of emotions surrounding the main theme of death. Through the use of direct words with negative connotation, Auden conveys the theme of death, whilst creating a dark, mournful time in the poem, Funeral Blues. The mood of Funeral Blues can come across as quite angry and frustrating, and I find that this anger and frustration towards the world increases, as Auden skillfully uses stronger words with negative connotation towards the end of the poem, ?the stars are not wanted now: put out every one/ Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun/ Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.? These words are of rejection, waste and redundancy. ...read more.

Middle

He feels that god has taken his son away as a punishment, as his ?sinne was too much hope of thee?, meaning he was too proud of his son, and expected high expectations of him. The father, Ben Jonson himself, speaks about how his son was the best thing he ever created, ?Ben Jonson his best piece of poetrie?, and this reveals just how close and loving their relationship was. I find their relationship very similar to the relationship of the mother and son in the poem Refugee Mother and Child by Chinua Achebe. I find the starting line of the poem; ?No Madonna and Child could touch/Her tenderness for a son? expresses the close bond of the Mother and her son, for their love for one another is even greater than that of Madonna and Child. Furthermore, Achebe uses a lack of verbs to portray how tired the mother must be feeling, ?waddling in labored steps? and ?dried-up bottoms waddling?. The use of sensory appeal and powerful imagery emphasise the theme of death all around the camp, ?the air was heavy with odors of diarrhea/of unwashed children with washed-out ribs?. Just by reading this line, I can already imagine what death must smell like and how unhealthy and starved these young children must be. Achebe uses many words to symbolise the theme of death, ?struggling?, ?skull? and ?grave?. This, in result, foreshadows that the mother will lose her son at some point of the poem, and that he cannot escape death. ...read more.

Conclusion

Funeral Blues by W. H Auden was the most dramatic and direct poem, as Auden not only used a range of words with negative connotation, but he also explored effective techniques such as, imperatives and onomatopoeia. Auden stresses the frustrating emotions that almost everyone would feel, if they ever experienced the loss of a loved one. Refugee Mother and Child by Chinua Achebe is a beautiful poem that expresses the unconditional love that a mother has for her son. Achebe successfully used powerful imagery throughout the poem, which made it even more sickening and sad. On My First Sonne by Ben Jonson was very similar to Refugee Mother and Child as both narrators had to cope with the loss of their children. Jonson conveyed the themes of loss and death much more carefully and delicately than the other two poems. Even though there were only a few words with positive connotation, Jonson still managed to create a reassuring, calming and comforting tone through the steady tempo of the iambic pentameter. I feel that the poem, which best represented both themes of death and loss, was Refugee Mother and Child due to Achebe?s use of powerful imagery and sensory appeal. I could feel a real connection with the mother, and I could imagine how tired she must have felt. I was strongly touched by the unconditional love that the mother had for her son, and, despite being tired, her determination to make the last moments of her son?s life the happiest. Ms. Eves Poetry Coursework ...read more.

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