Comparison of Mid-Term Break, The Field Mouse, and On My First Sonne
The above poems are written by 3 different people and on reading them
they seem to be about very different things. But at heart, they are
about death and the pain that appears afterwards. Seamus Heaney's
Mid-Term Break is a memory of his four-year-old brother's death.
Gillian Clarke's The Field Mouse is about death in a political
conflict compared to a death in nature. Finally On My First Sonne by
Ben Johnson is about the death of his son and the religious view of
Both Heaney and Johnson's poems are about the death of a close loved
one and how it is dealt with emotionally and in reality. On looking at
the title of Heaney's poem, you almost immediately assume that is a
happy one, possibly about what he spends his holidays doing. This of
course is not the case.
Unlike the other two poems, you do not know immediately who has died
or even if there is a death. Throughout the poem he keeps us guessing
what is happening. He gives us a clue and we have to piece it together
like a detective putting a jigsaw puzzle together to solve a crime.
Also the fact that it is a memory and he is talking about himself as a
child shows how badly it would have affected him and his parents
emotionally. Through Heaney talks about the reaction of all his family
members to his brother's death, Johnson only talks about how his son's
death affected him.
You can see that since the deceased was his first son, that he is hit
emotionally very hard and seems to blame himself, but at the same time
consulates himself by thinking that he has gone to a better place.
Line 5 'O, could I loose all father now. For why.' seems to indicate
that he has lost all hope and does not want any more children in the
fear that one of them might be taken away by God again. It also shows
that his son was possibly the only bright point in his life and that
he feels since he has been taken away, he has almost no reason to
After this event he also feels that you shouldn't get to attached to
something as he says 'As what he loves may never like too much.' This
obviously means that whatever you love, don't get attached to it, as
you will end up...