In the poems presented, the main theme of parent and child relationships can be clearly illustrated. For example, Catrin which is composed by Gillian Clarke emphasises the theme of how powerful the bond is between parents and children. This point can be clearly addressed as Clarke provides the perfect metaphor ‘Red rope of love which we both fought over. ‘ The use of such a graphic metaphor highlights how humans have an instinctive need to protect their children. Furthermore, by a mother remembering such a graphic event at child birth in particular the vocabulary ‘red rope’ shows how bearing a child is one of the great duties of life.
Furthermore, this moment of becoming a mother addresses the theme of how important children and parent relationships are. However in contrast, Seamus Heaney who wrote Digging isn’t addressing the point of child birth with the use of quite graphic vocabulary. Instead Heaney highlights the main theme of parent and Child relationships with tradition with the use of the metaphor ‘I’ll dig with it’.
The use of presenting this quote as the last line emphasises how he respects his father’s ability to provide. Which on line fifteen is sophisticatedly composed ‘By God, the old man could handle a spade.
‘ This quote highlights how he idealises his father suggesting that Digging is another poem based on the instinct between the bond of parents and family. In huge contrast to both these poems, Johnson who presents On my First Sonne addresses the poem as an epitaph.
The use of the structure being an epitah highlights the theme of parent and child relationships. This particular theme can be highlighted as it emphasises the emotions of a parent bidding farewell to his seven year old child. The quote which can highlight my point is ‘Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy.
‘ This quote emphasises the theme quite clearly as it uses the words ‘child of my right hand, and joy’ these words highlight that there is a strong bond between poet and child which is the main theme of child and parent relationship. However, even though it uses the following theme like the other poems. There is a contrast from Clarke and Heaney as this is a poem mourning the relationship which Jonson treasures ‘my right hand, and joy. ‘ Just like Jonson’s poem, The affliction of Magaret also deals with loss. However, instead of mourning the death of a child it presents a mother who laments the loss of her son at sea.
This poem relates to the theme of parent and child relationships as it shows just like Catrin the duties of a mother. Implying that by the pain and suffering of any mother at child birth such as Magaret you start to worry and assume the worst. ‘Where art thou, my beloved son, Where art thou, worse to me than dead? ‘ This quote highlights the worry of a mother and that like Clarke and Johnson it emphasises the parent and child relationship through mourning like Johnson and by her past memories as her attitude of her son just like in Catrin.
In all of the poems mentioned there is a frequent use of poetic techniques to present the way a poem is. The use of enjambment, can change the tempo of a poem and create and overall effect and theme. This point can be emphasised by Heaney ‘He straightened up to drink it, and then fell to right away. ‘ The use of this particular quote emphasises how enjambment speeds up the tempo. This also shows to the reader in between lines that Heaney idealises his grandfather as stronger and better than any other on Toner’s Bog.
This point of idealism can again be addressed On My First Sonne as Johnson uses the term ‘his best piece of poetrie’. Emphasising just like in Digging that he has respect for his son and family. Even though as a reader it must emphasised this poem is an epitaph for a son that has passed away. However, when relating back to the original point of enjambment On my First Sonne uses the quote ‘will lament the state he should envie? ‘ This quote presents a sombre tone and expresses the grief of a man. This view contrasts with Digging and Catrin ‘strong long brown hair’ depicting the child in a good view much like the other three poems.
This again emphasises the struggle of children and that bringing a child into an adult will always be a struggle for an adult and that it has its rewards. This contrasts to My First Son and Affliction of Magaret ‘I question things, and do not find’ or ‘one that will answer to my mind and create the effect of eternal grief’, as Margret has heard no word from her son. The Affliction of Magaret also becomes intertwined with Catrin because they are both forms a mother’s point of view. Furthermore, they show an over exaggeration of there ideas ‘as you may ask may you state in the dark, for one more hour,’ in Catrin and ‘seven years alas!
To have received no tidings to an only child’ From the Affliction of Margaret both poems show the characteristics of motherly fears and begin to portray them to the reader. Therefore, we tend to emphasise with the poems and feel their emotions such as anxiety. In all the poems I as a reader can highlight certain grammar techniques such as similes and metaphors. For example in Digging, ‘ the squat pen rests’ and in Catrin ‘the red rope of love’ both create using grammar techniques to make the emotions of love an connection. In Catrin it creates a joyful mood by the use of the metaphor.
However, in My First Sonne and Affliction of Margaret they use metaphors in an entirely different effect. In the Affliction of Margaret it uses the quote ‘seven yeeres thowert lent to me, and an incommunicable sleep. From this quote it shows My First Sonne and Affliction of Magaret show sadness and death. This helps create a sombre mood overall. Similes are also used in all four poems ‘snug as a gun’ from Digging as it suggests that Heaney finds poetry comfortable but by writing he makes those around upset and lose face just like the use of a gun. However, in Catrin there is also the use of metaphors to create no comfort like Digging.
The use of the extended metaphor that calls child birth a ‘struggle’ and a ‘fierce confrontation’ suggests that parenting is hard and although the struggle of child birth appears hard, parenting is a simply a continuing process ‘still I am fighting you off. ‘ In conclusion this essay has highlighted different issues such as idealism. Furthermore, I have shown the huge contrasts when the poet explores parent relationships. Like in Oh my First Sonne it deals with an epitaph. Whilst in Catrinit deals with the beauty of child birth. Lastly, the affliction of Magaret deals with the death of a child.