Essay on My first Sonne and Mid Term Break

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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. Despite the fact that both poems are about death the poets’ emotions are very different, ban
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Seamus Heaney uses each stanza to tell a different part of a story. My first Sonne has a very different structure to Mid- Term Break, unlike Mid- Term Break it has only one stanza- however we doe see a split in the stanza where the mood changes. Johnson use rhyming couplets which helps the poem flow. We don not see rhyming couplets in
Mid- Term Break which makes it harder to read.

Rhyming couplets help the rhythm in ‘My first Sonne’ and Johnson uses it effectively in order to get the poem to flow. My first Sonne could also be a sonnet as it talks about the love for his son and that he shall never love another child as much he did with him.

Ben Johnson creates a split in moods; however we do not see a new stanza. 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,

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