Symbolsim Of Fathes As A Common Image In Poetry

1116 words - 5 pages

The works "My Papa's Waltz" and "Those Winter Sundays" are poems that explain a child's love for his fathers, even if, like in "My Papa's Waltz," the father brings problems into the household. Of the things the fathers do, some of them aren't always seen as the right thing to do. Theodore Roethke, the author of " My Papa's Waltz," uses symbolism and imagery to help develop the meaning of his poem, as does Robert Hayden, the author of "These Winter Sunday." These poems, written from different points of views, both show love for a father through the use of symbolism and imagery.

Symbols associate two things, but their meanings are both literal and figurative. For example a quote ...view middle of the document...

The two poets also use imagery in their poems to help illustrate the love and dignity for the boy's fathers.

Imagery is a form of language that embodies an appeal to a physical sense, usually sight, although the words may invoke sound, smell, and taste and touch as well. Hayden uses imagery to help explain what the father does to show his love. One line in "Those Winter Sundays," states, "With cracked hands that ached/ from labor in the weekday weather made/ banked fires blaze (line 3-5)." Hear the speaker is showing that the father, even though he has worked all week in the extremely cold winter conditions, wakes early to start a fire and warm the house for the family. This image is given to help us, the reader, better understand the father's rough position. He wakes his child when the house is warm; the child speaks "indifferently" to his father even though his father had warmed the house. The father rises early on those "blueblack cold (line 2)" Sunday mornings, to bring the house to life. We really get a clear picture of how the father is wonderful for waking early to "bank" the fire and drive out the "chronic angers (line 10)" and the "clod-splintering breaking (line 6)."

One similarity between these two poems is that both authors use imagery, but Roethke uses imagery to show a father's control over his child, such as in the line, "The hand that held my wrist (line 9)." This line could suggest many things, such as the harsh physical control and even manipulation over the little boy. Most people would hold the child's hand, a much calmer and less harsh approach to having control. We are also told that the hand that holds the child's wrist "was battered on one knuckle (line 10)." This could lead us to believe that the father leads a dangerous and rough life style. Another frightening characteristic of the father is the smell of whiskey on his breath, so strong it could make a small boy dizzy. A conclusion that could be made from this is that the father is a drunk who...

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