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On My First Son
On My First Son
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On My First Son Analysis
Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay
Form and Meter
Iambic Pentameter (With One Notable Exception)"On My First Son" is written in the most popular meter for English poetry: iambic pentameter. In each line of the poem, there are five (which is where...
The speaker of "On My First Son" is a grieving father. But he's not just any grieving father—he's Ben Jonson. That's right, this poem is pretty stinkin' autobiographical, as poems go. Through the...
We might imagine that the speaker is standing over his son's grave, but if you look closely, there's no evidence in the poem that tells us that. Really, the only thing we can say for sure about the...
We talk about the use (and reason) of rhyme in this poem over in "Form and Meter," so be sure to check that out for a full discussion. If we look a bit closer at the rhyme scheme, though, we notice...
What's Up With the Title?
The title "On My First Son" is kind of vague. A title like this could be about almost any aspect of one's "first son." It could refer to the birth of the speaker's first son, or it could just be ab...
Classical KnowledgeBen Jonson really loved his classics (the literature of ancient Greece and Rome), and many of his poems show it. "On My First Son" is no exception. First, Jonson considered the p...
(3) Base CampJonson's poem isn't too difficult. The language is pretty normal stuff. There aren't any real crazy words like eleemosynary, and, for the most part, we get what he's saying. The struct...
Jonson served in the military for a time. On one memorable occasion, he challenged a Spaniard to single combat, slew him, and stripped the corpse of its armor. Gnarly. (Source) In 1598, Jonson got...
G"On My First Son" is a very serious poem. It's about the death of a child, so there really isn't any room or place for sexuality of any kind. The poem is rated G. That's even less than PG, folks,...
Literary and Philosophical References:Martial, Epigrams, VI. xxix (11-12) Historical References:Benjamin Jonson, first son of the poet (whole poem)
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