[Skip Navigation]

Plagiarist Poetry Sites: Plagiarist.com | Poetry X | Poetry Discussion Forums | Open Poetry Project | Joycean.org
Enter our Poetry Contest
Win Cash and Publication!

Visitors' Comments about:

On My First Son

Ben Jonson

Add a new comment.


2004-09-06
Added by: Tamar
I think that most interpreters miss the religious aspect of this poem. For Ben Jonson, a clergyman in the 17th century,certainly was more concerned with G-d's message to him when He "exacted" this loan "on the just day", than with protecting his now fragile psyche in typical 21st century manner.
For me this is the ultimate poem of acceptance, Accepting the justice of G-d and trying to rationalize the pain away (why should man lament the state he should envie?) What Jonson has learnt through the painful death of his son is to refrain from "loving" anything in this "ephemeral world "too much"
2004-09-14
Added by: Tautalamaiaso Auau
Ben Jonson is a fine poet. He hits a men's heart and comes out clean. His ideas for poetry are truly heart felt. What a man.
i feel grief
2004-11-01
Added by: Maria
im studying this poem at sch and it is one of my favorite. i think it is easy to understand and the poet relates it to real life experiences which makes it easy to grasp.. the irony in the poem is great.. you go bennn love de poem
2004-11-26
Added by: haylz
this poem is a great example of when you loose a loved one, this poem expresses all the guilt and sorrow you share. i think this is ben johnsons finest and most accurate poem. anyone that has lost a child will know how this father was feeling when he wrote this poem, i wouldnt know this because i am only 15 myself, but i know this poem definetly had a effect on me when i first studied it in my english class.i hope u will appreciate my views
they poem
2005-01-11
Added by: scott harrison
i believe that this is an exquisit poem. it lets out feelings and emotions of love and hurt i myself would of loved to meet him face to face
2005-01-25
Added by: Charlie Brown
The poem is very emotional and it has touched me deeply!!!
on my first sonne -how tragic
2005-03-11
Added by: swekrithi
I thought this poem was very emotional however i have experienced this tragic myself with my son. this poem has been setout so significantly and even brougt a tear to my eye of reminding me of my sone ben. i think Ben johnson indeed is a great man.
ben jonson
2005-03-31
Added by: Shamos
Ben jonson was actually a homosexual. No, seriously, i saw it on the history channel
Ben Jonson
2005-03-31
Added by: Jeff
Ben Jonson was one of many relisious poets in the 17th century. Being gay in this time of history was not accepted, so ben was not openly gay, although he did participate in homosexual events at night. All that set aside, Ben Jonson was a fine poet.
2005-05-24
Added by: Gen
To all those people who have voiced their desire to meet Ben Jonson in person, keep in mind he was not the emotional, sensitive kind of guy you would expect to write such a poignant elegy. For a large part of his life he was a brute, a thug and an alcoholic. At one stage he even murdered a fellow actor, although he escaped being hung by claiming to have links to the catholic church, a powerful ally at the time [however, his father was a protestant clergyman and, evidently, not catholic, therefore he obviously had no valid links].
But, I do agree that this poem is particularly touching, and one of the things that makes it so poignant, and which most people fail to recognize, is the fact that he, a brute, wrote such an exquisite and somber piece of poetry and used such heartfelt lines such as 'rest in soft peace'. This is one of the most touching and provocative lines in his poem, and clearly reflects the great love and respect he held for his first son and namesake, Ben Jonson.
The poem has deep religious themes running throughout it, Jonson was a committed catholic at the time of writing (1603), but had only been so for five years, and 7 years after writing the poem Jonson renounced Catholicism. In this sense the religious aspect in the poem is very important to consider, as Jonson was clearly confused about his religion. Considering this, his line ‘O, could I lose all father, now’ is a particularly important one as it indicates he may lose faith in god as a result of his child’s death, it is almost like a threat to god.
The metaphor, which seems to run throughout the poem, is that his son was only lent to him; ‘seven yeeres tho’wert lent to me, and I the pay…’ This line specifically expresses his views that god is somewhat of a bank, and that people are only loaned their loved ones for a certain period of time.

» Add a new comment.

« Return to the poem page.