In The poems “Follower” by Heaney, “Catrin” by Clarke, “On my first sonne” by Jonson and “Song of the old mother” by Yeats, each of the poets deals with relationships in different ways. For example, some of the poems relationships are positive, some are negative.
Even some about child relations and adult relations. I will also be able to compare the difference in structure and language to the pre 1914 poems and “Follower” and “Catrin”. Both Catrin and Follower with a parent and child relationship, both outline the positive and negative aspects.On the surface, Clarke’s poem seems to dwell on the conflict underlying the relationship with her daughter Catrin. Even in her memories of childbirth, we are offered a picture of a battle as she describes the ‘fierce confrontation’ and how they ‘fought’ over the ‘red rope of love’ in their desire to be separate. This image of conflict is further amplified with the use of words such as ‘struggle’ and ‘separate’ as Clarke tries to express the tension at this momentous time when she becomes part of another’s life and considers the restrictions and responsibilities this brings.
In contrast, in ‘Follower’ Heaney talks of a relationship with his farther. This is strong and positive and provides many happy memories. Heaney refers to his farther to an ‘expert’. This shows us how proud he is of his farther and how much he worships him and his skills. On he surface, Heaney poem seems to portray the positive sides to th...
eir relationship, but when he says ‘I stumbled in his hob nailed wake’, this shows us the less positive side as Heaney is saying he feels he yet doesn’t have either the strength nor skill to match his farther.
The word ‘stumbled’ shows us that he is struggling at this moment in time. But we then go back to the positive side when Heaney emphasises the relationship by saying ‘sometimes he rode me on his back’. This image conveys again how strong the relationship is that one of which can never be broken. The poet expresses his admiration for his farther throughout and has fond memories of his childhood. His use of the simile ‘His shoulders globed like a full sail strung’ in line 2 begins a series of images aimed to evoke his memories of childhood.
Whilst it is not so immediately evident, Clarke too explains the strong bond between parent and child. When Clarke says ‘red rope of love’ this evokes that even though relationships do have their difficulties, they should use the more positive to dominate and conquer their relationship. This evokes an image of an unbreakable bond by ‘rope’. And ‘red’ the colour that usually represents love. Finally, at the end of Heaney poem, the poem changes when he says ‘farther who keeps stumbling, behind me.
And will not go away. This says his farther is now a burden in comparison to earlier in the poem when he thought he was a burden to his dad. This evokes sympathy for the farther. I think here that Heaney is possibly showing a break in the relationship? As in Catrin, one is immediately
aware of the conflict and tension caused between the mother and child in Yeats ‘Song of the old mother’ Yeats has written the poem from a mother’s point of view in order to highlight the friction and anger between herself and young woman.The poet uses simple, often monosyllabic words to sound like we are listening to her thoughts.
And possibly because of her past simple life. E. g. range of language. As Catrin, there are a lot of negatives to a relationship present.
We know this by the language used. When she uses the verbs ‘scrub’, ‘bake’ and ‘sweep’ this is effective because she again is comparing to herself to younger woman. She feels all they care about is themselves and their appearance. So we are able to Compare this poem to both Heaney and Clarke. Finally, we are left with On my first sonne by Jonson.This like all of the other poems has its relationship based on family both the tension and bonds.
This is a effective poem by the difference in language used in comparison to Follower or Catrin. For here there is a lot of arpaeic language Straight away we know of their strong relationship as the farther and the boys are both called Benjamin. This is significant as I fell this effect of the bond was made for that special purpose. The next point is of his fathers feeling towards his son’s death.
It is of an opposite of what you would expect in the present time.When this poem was written, religion was a very important part of life. I feel that this poem could also be referred to as an epigram. This therefore could explain the reaction by the farther. He is happy that his son has gone to heaven.
‘To have so soone scap’d worlds, and fleshes rage’ this shows us that he is grateful because he now does not have to worry about his son being affected by troubles in real life. For example the plague. In conclusion, I feel that all four poems have a very strong link. This being the relationship each poet is talking about.However, Catrin and possibly On my first sonne concentrates on the negative aspects to a relationship. Whereas Follower and Song of the old mother mostly concentrates on positive aspects.
There is also a comparison to the poems. As the language used is clearly different. Whether this is done on purpose for effect or just because of when they were wrote. Whatever the reason, I feel these poems are great in their own ways.
If I had to, I would probably choose On my first sonne. I would because of the difference I life that I am used at the life describes in the poem. I feel this is very effective.
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