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Explore the ways that youth is lost in 'Death of a Naturalist', 'ColdKnapLake ', 'On My First Sonne' and 'The Song of the Old Mother' through the poets' portrayal of children.

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Introduction

ESSAY NUMBER 4: Explore the ways that youth is lost in 'Death of a Naturalist', 'Cold Knap Lake', 'On My First Sonne' and 'The Song of the Old Mother' through the poets' portrayal of children. Write about: * How children are portrayed * The feelings the poets convey about youth * The methods the poets use to suggest the loss of youth * Your own response to the poem In 'Death of a Naturalist', 'Cold Knap Lake', 'On My First Sonne' and 'The Song of the Old Mother', each poet writes about a loss of youth, or a sense of youth no longer being present. The writer of each poem writes about childhood and children are portrayed. In 'Death of a Naturalist', Seamus Heaney writes about how he began puberty, and entered adolescence. This change triggered a loss of childhood, and his poem is an insight into this. In 'Cold Knap Lake', Gillian Clarke writes about the doubtful death of a young child in the waters of 'Cold Knap Lake', in Barry, South Wales. ...read more.

Middle

The area comes across as oppressive, and muggy: much like the conditions of that of a swamp, or marsh - there is a sense of decay, and alliteration and assonance add to this sense. Again, sense is important in the poem as it increases the effect of the poem and if it was not present, the poem would definitely not have the effect that it does have. The frogs in 'Death of a Naturalist' are described as 'angry' and we get the sense that Heaney sees them as 'hostile'. Military terms are used: 'cocked', 'mud grenades', 'vengeance'. He says that the 'angry frogs invaded the flax dam'. Invaded is a military term also. The use of onomatopoeia helps to create the atmospherics: the frogs are described as slimy, their sliminess iterated in 'slap' and 'pop'. In 'Cold Knap Lake', Gillian Clarke writes about a little girl drowning (an incident in Clarke's childhood), or so it was thought, at the artificial lake in Barry, South Wales. ...read more.

Conclusion

The 'just day' was the day that his son was returned to God. In 'The Song of the Old Mother', Yeats writes about the way that an old mother's youth and childhood is long in the past. She must care for her children, and bring them up and help with their childhood all whilst she loathes them because her childhood is far behind. Yeats repeats the word 'must' which suggests how she 'must' continue with her current routine, and is unable to live and enjoy life like the young and like she once could when she was young. The phrase 'seed of the fire gets feeble and old' is a metaphor to how her own youth has died, the seed is now feeble and cold - her youth has passed and she is becoming older and more feeble. All of the poems suggest a loss of youth and each poet portrays the loss through a use of language, and a sense of atmosphere, or an outlook on other people's youthfulness. Heaney makes use of the four senses to create an atmosphere, and uses this to emphasise the change between his childhood and his adolescence. ...read more.

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