Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Editions can help.
Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Editions can help.

On My First Son Summary & Analysis
by Ben Jonson

Question about this poem?
Have a question about this poem?
Have a specific question about this poem?
Have a specific question about this poem?
Have a specific question about this poem?
A LitCharts expert can help.
A LitCharts expert can help.
A LitCharts expert can help.
A LitCharts expert can help.
A LitCharts expert can help.
Ask us
Ask us
Ask a question
Ask a question
Ask a question

“On My First Son” is an elegy by the English poet and playwright Ben Jonson. He composed the poem shortly after his son died of the plague in 1603; his son was just seven years old at the time. Unlike many of Jonson’s other poems—which tend to be biting, sarcastic, and satirical—“On My First Son” is a moving testament to Jonson’s anguish and grief in the wake of his son’s death. In his despair, Jonson wrestles with some of the toughest questions a poet—and a person—can face. He asks himself whether he can ever recover from such a sharp blow—and he wonders whether anything can possibly compensate for his loss.

Get
Get
LitCharts
Get the entire guide to “On My First Son” as a printable PDF.
Download