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'My first Sonne' and 'Mid Term Break'

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Azadhassan M K Gulamali English Literature- Poetry 'My first Sonne' and 'Mid Term Break' In this essay I will be comparing and commenting on the poems 'My first Sonne', by Ben Johnson and 'Mid Term Break' by Seamus Heaney. These poems are all a reflection on a close relative's death and portray the poet's emotions, feelings and thoughts. However while Ben Johnson loses a son Seamus Heaney loses a brother, from these poems we see two different types of emotions. Mid term break is an autobiographical poem written by Seamus Heaney when thinking back about the death of his little brother. 'My first Sonne' is also autobiographical, but is about the death of Ben Johnson's seven year old son. ...read more.


I think both poems have straight forward meaning- we see Benn Johnson trying to create meaning in his poem for why his son died. Ben Johnson blames himself for loving his child too much, even though we know that infant mortality was high at this point. Johnson does not take into mind the context of the time he was living in. Structure is important in poems as it affects the rhythm and the tone, this could affect the whole meaning of a poem. Mid- Term Break and My first Sonne have very different structures. Mid term break has seven three line stanzas, followed by a single line stanza which ends the poem. ...read more.


To me it is as if Ben Johnson has written this poem soon after the death of his son and the change of mood reflects on the cooling of Johnson's mind. I think that if Johnson had created two stanzas the poem would be slightly more effective. Language in the poems does not only help set the context but also helps the poets express their emotions and feelings. From the diction used in the poems we can tell the mood of the poet and what he or she is feeling. Mid Term Break, written not long ago has a very basic and normal use of lexis with some odd words- but it does not capture your attention immediately. My first Sonne is written in 1616 and is in old English, however if it was translated today the poem would be harsh and bitter. ...read more.

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