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Peoms that convey Death

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How do the poets convey their emotions about death on 'On my first Sonne' and 3 other poems? 'On my first Sonne' by Ben Jonson, 'The Affliction of Margaret' by William Wordsworth, 'Cold Knap Lake' by Gillian Clarke and 'At a Potato Digging' Seamus Heaney all convey their emotions about death. The language used in 'On my first Sonne' has the father talking about how he "will lament the state he should envie" which shows that he would rather be dead and escape the misery of getting older. He also uses euphemism to by saying "rest in soft peace" which makes death sound comforting which gives the reader the feeling that death is a good thing. Likewise, 'The Affliction of Margaret' shows how Margaret thinks that death is good as she says "Heaven have wings" whilst "Chains ties up down by land and sea" which shows that there is freedom to fly in Heaven whilst being alive on earth is very restricting. She also implies, like in 'On my first Sonne' that she would rather be dead by saying "that I may rest" which can be taken literally and sleep, but also rest in the grave. ...read more.


In contrast to 'Cold Knap Lake', 'At a Potato Digging' has images of death to symbolise death such as "crows attacking crow-black fields" this symbolises that crows are eating at a dead field. Heaney also gives imagery of "mouths tightened in" and "eyes died hard" which shows the pain of death whilst in the 'On my first Sonne', 'The Affliction of Margaret' and 'Cold Knap Lake' suggests that death is better for someone. The structure in 'On my first Sonne' is written like and epitaph for the father's son. This shows that the father has a lot of feeling for his son and would like to be with his son because of the euphemism he uses within the poem of "rest in soft peace". Also, the poem has an iambic pentameter which glorifies death by making the poem feel smooth. Similarly, 'The Affliction of Margaret' is written like a nursery rhyme using simple language to make death feel simple and the easy way forward through life. In addition, it has seven lines in each stanza which could show life as being repetitive and boring all the way through. ...read more.


Clarke is also sad about the death of part of the child before she almost drowned because "all the lost things lie under closing water in that lake with the poor man's daughter" which shows us that part of the child is still there. Conversely, there is a tone of fear in 'At a Potato Digging' as the people call the ground the "faithless ground" and are scared that an event like the potato blight would happen again. However, it is quite hard to get a tone from Heaney's poems as they tell more narration within the poems such as this one, which tells the story of the potato blight. In conclusion, all four poems show emotion about death but in different ways. 'On my first Sonne' shows that death is a good thing and that it is something that one should envy; 'The Affliction of Margaret' is similar in that fact that she refers to heaven having "wings" and something that we should look forward to; 'Cold Knap Lake' shows death as being a peaceful thing and something that is better for some people; 'At a Potato Digging' shows that death is a scary process when there is something like the potato blight that occurs. ...read more.

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