We accept

Poems About The Father-Child Relationship

A father-child romance can be considered a beautiful thing for some, and complicated for others. There will vary sorts of fathers. You will find fathers who are always around because of their children, who provide information and unconditional love. Then there are impossible-to-please fathers who burden their children with high goals, leading to a strained romantic relationship. And there are those fathers who, unable to handle the duties of fatherhood, just walk out on their family. Some individuals may see their father in one way as a child, and expand up to see them in a completely new light. It's like when you dispute about your curfew as well as your father tells you, "You'll understand when you yourself have a child. " The complexity and richness of the father-child relationship points out why so many poets write poems about fathers and fatherhood.

In this lesson, you'll read poems about the father-child romance. You'll also learn about the partnership between these poems' styles and the proper execution and devices used expressing them.


The poet Gregory Orr wrote a coming in contact with poem about how fathers learn all the from other children as they teach their children. Read Gregory Orr's poem, "Father's Tune. " The type of romantic relationship do the daddy and child in this poem talk about? What poetic devices does indeed the poet use to depict the nuances of the relationship? This simple 14-series poem is about the relationship between a protecting, caring dad and a carefree, playful child. The use of free verse and lack of rhyme helps express the straightforwardness and spontaneity of how the father seems about his child.

Which lines in the poem make you almost "see" what is happening? Look at the lines "my little princess balanced on the couch back, dropped and cut her mouth. " and the "blood so red that it stops a father's heart. " These lines tell you how the loudspeaker feels about his child. The poem shows the way the speaker's experience and caution is balanced by his child's determination to experience life easily and take dangers, and the group proceeds, "round and around. " The past two lines of this poem will be the essence of a wholesome father-child romantic relationship, "I try to teach her extreme caution, / she tried to teach me risk. " The loudspeaker tries to safeguard his child from harm, while the child shows him how to most probably to adventure and new experiences.


Poems About Fathers Analyzed

While Gregory Orr's "Father's Track" was motivated by fatherhood, other poets have been influenced by their fathers, like the poet Dylan Thomas. Read or pay attention to Thomas's "USUALLY DO NOT Go Gentle Into That Good Evening, " which is a son's plea to his dying daddy to not surrender to fatality. This poem's central theme is the speaker's lack of ability to simply accept his father's old age and mortality. Now let's observe how the poem's form and framework add to this theme.

This poem is a villanelle, which is a 19-series poem with five tercets, or three-line stanzas, that ends with a quatrain, or four-line stanza. A villanelle was usually used to write simple, pastoral poems. So, why do you consider Thomas thought we would write this poem as a villanelle? The villanelle form of "USUALLY DO NOT Go Gentle Into That Good Nighttime" adds to the irony of commanding a weakened, dying person to "rage" against fatality. Equally this poem is nothing like the normal lyrical, pastoral poem, a fragile dying man is not likely to "rage" against anything.


Only two rhymes are being used over the poem with words like, "night, " "light, " "sight, " and "day, " "way, " "pray. " These two recurring rhymes help build on the speaker's intensity as he convinces his dad to stay alive. The first and third rhymes of the first stanza are repeated alternately within an interlocking rhyme system in the being successful stanzas. The rhyme design is aba/aba/aba/aba/aba/abaa, where the first rhyme is joined within the last two lines of the quatrain.

The previous two lines also gather the poem's two refrains: "Usually do not go light into that good night, " and "Rage, trend from the dying of the light. " Does you notice that these lines recur all across the poem? They depict the urgency of the speaker's pleas as he consistently and forcefully urges his dad to hang on to life.

Lesson Activity-Self-Checked

What effect do both refrains in "USUALLY DO NOT Go Gentle Into That Good Nights, " have? Would you interpret these refrains in different ways as the poem advances? Write your answer in 175-200 words.


Besides the urgent refrains, other poetic devices in the poem "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" help take forward the theme of a son's unwillingness to let his dad succumb to death. Metaphors such as "good nights, " "dying of the light, " and "close of day, " are being used to make reference to death. What "day" and "light" represent life. That's why the speaker's father is urged to "rage from the dying of the light. "

The simile, "Blind eye could blaze like meteors and become gay, " implies that although his dad may be heading blind, his intelligence and greatness will permit him to see obviously along with his mind's eye.

Did you see the alliteration over the poem? Read the line "Do not go soft into that good night. " Don't the alliterative noises seem to add to the poem's immediate passion?


Across the poem there are images of smart, illuminating things like lightning and meteors. Why do you think this bright imagery is utilized in a poem about dying? The loudspeaker will try to persuade his dad that a great man like him should not easily give in to fatality. He should get over the darkness of death and continue to burn smart, as summed up in the lines, "Good men, the previous wave by, crying how bright/Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay, /Rage, rage resistant to the dying of the light. "

At the finish of the poem, there are a paradox in the lines, "Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray. " The juxtaposition of "curse" and "bless" indicates the son's prefer to take his father's pain unto himself. It's as though by cursing his kid, the daddy can talk about his pain and "fierce tears" along with his boy who doesn't want to reduce him.

Dylan Thomas published "USUALLY DO NOT Go Gentle Into That Good Night" when his dad, David John Thomas who got always been a strong man, was going blind and was on his deathbed. That's why many read it as an autobiographical poem. The poet and his father got a great romance and both shared a love for books. The poet was very disturbed to see his daddy ravaged by age and composed this poem to express how he thought.


While Dylan Thomas's poem is a son's plea to his dying daddy, the American poet E. E. Cummings's "my father shifted through dooms of love" can be an elegy. Read Cummings's "my dad relocated through dooms of love. " What's the very first thing that hits you relating to this poem? Did you see that the poem is full of paradoxes? Check out phrases like "dooms of love, " "griefs of enjoyment, " and "theys of we. " These and the rest of the paradoxes used take front the poem's theme, lamenting death while still celebrating the life lived.

In this poem, the speaker says his dad had lived a complete life. Go through the lines "joy was his music and happiness so 100 % pure, " "his anger was as right as rainfall/ his pity was as inexperienced as grain" and "his sorrow was as true as bread. " These lines let you know that whether the speaker's daddy was happy, irritated, or miserable, he experienced each sentiment completely. He inspired others to be the best they may be, "his apr touch/ drove sleeping selves to swarm their fates/ woke dreamers with their ghostly origins. " The speaker takes readers across conditions, "april touch, " "septembering biceps and triceps, " "octobering flame, " that appear to mirror his father's full life with varied experiences and feelings. The last two lines, "because my dad lived his spirit/love is the whole plus more than all, " present how the father resided a life filled up with love for and from his family.


What do lines like "joy was his tune and enjoyment so genuine, " "no eager man but wished him food;/no cripple wouldn't creep one mile/uphill to only see him smile, " "no liar appeared him in the head, " inform you of the speaker's father's personality? It sounds like the speaker's dad was liked and revered universally. He lived a 100 % pure and full life, which is brought out by the lines, "because my dad lived his spirit. "

Cummings published "my dad transferred through dooms of love" in his typical style, without places or adherence to structural guidelines, to ensure that his creative imagination and feelings flow freely. Like Dylan Thomas's "USUALLY DO NOT Go Gentle Into That Good Night", this poem is also considered autobiographical. Cummings composed this poem as an elegy to his daddy Edward Cummings, a teacher at Harvard School, who died suddenly in a vehicle accident. His father's rapid death sobered Cummings into authoring more serious areas of life.


Poems About Fathers Compared

While poems like Cummings's "my dad moved through dooms of love" create an image of a beloved and loving dad, others present dark, complicated pictures of fathers, including the American poet Sylvia Plath. Read Plath's poem "Daddy. " You can also watch Plath recite her poem, "Daddy. " What's this poem about?

"Daddy" examines a daughter's unresolved emotions for her daddy, who passed on. The speaker's dad perished when she was so young that she is at awe of him, but never really comprehended him. The speaker's awe for her father is reflected in the manner she compares him to "a carrier packed with God. " She also expresses how she cannot avoid from her father's looming existence, with his "one gray feet/ Big as a Frisco seal, " trying across continents. Her conflicted feelings come to the fore later in the poem, when despite work she can't find her father. She then compares him to a devil, with "A cleft in your chin instead of your feet, " a brute, and a vampire. The loudspeaker portrays herself as a vampire killer, her father's killer, "If I've killed one man, I've killed two. " The speaker's irritation climaxes within the last stanza, where she gets protective and telephone calls her father names, and exclaims she actually is through with him.


Plath's poem, "Daddy" is made up of 16 five-line stanzas. The main one rhyme that shows up in the poem is inconsistent, "You do not do, you do not do, " with some consecutive lines that end with words that rhyme with "do, " like "shoe" and "Achoo, " in the first stanza, and then "you, " "blue, " "Jew, " and so forth in the other stanzas. What's the relationship between the inconsistent rhyme scheme and the poem's theme of a daughter's unresolved feelings? The inconsistent, sporadic rhyme design seems to reveal the speaker's emotional turmoil and the conflicting emotions she has for her father. The rhythm created by the sporadically recurring rhyme in conjunction with the use of symbolism and imagery reflects the speaker's attempts to attempt to take control of the psychological turmoil induced by her father's disturbing memories.

"Daddy" is approximately a father, so the imagery, language, and symbolism used are shocking. Look at the poem's opening lines, "You do not do, you don't do/ Any longer, black sneaker/ In which I have lived like a feet. " These lines give a glimpse in to the speaker's contradictory emotions. To show the defensive and suffocating area of her father, the speaker runs on the shoe as symbolic of her father and the ft. inside the shoe as herself. Shoes protect the feet, but also constrict them, in so doing symbolizing her conflicted feelings.

Are you pondering what references to fascism, Nazis, and the Holocaust are doing in this poem? These images and references depict the speaker's misunderstanding about her dad. The presenter compares her father to a fascist who places his "boot in the facial skin. " She telephone calls her father an Aryan and herself a Jew, to mention that her father tortured her, like the Nazis tortured Jewish people in German loss of life camps. A couple of constant recommendations to "black" in the poem to echo the speaker's dark, puzzled feelings about her daddy. First, you have the "black shoe" and then your mention of "The dark telephone's off at the main, /the voices just can't worm through. " to mention that the speaker has once and for all severed her connection with her daddy.


Now go through the previous stanza of "Daddy"? The lines, "Plus the villagers never liked you. /They are dance and stamping you. " indicate the despicable picture that the speaker creates of her dad, in her attempts to free herself of the keep that her father's ram is wearing her, "So daddy, I'm finally through. " The highly worded last brand, "Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I'm through. " functions as the speaker's final rant up against the thoughts that cause her turmoil.

Did you question about the speaker's obsession with her daddy in this poem? Some critics have tried to explain this obsession by determining elements of the Electra complex in the poem. The Electra complex refers to a daughter's unresolved, unconscious desire for her dad. Critics assume that this turmoil is reflected in the speaker's needy and contradictory efforts to go to her father by committing suicide, "At twenty I tried to die/And reunite, back, back to you, " and conversely to end her bad, traumatizing romantic relationship with her father's memories wanting to kill him even though he's already deceased, "Daddy, I've had to eliminate you. /You passed on before I put time--" The speaker's puzzled thoughts are again mirrored when she "used to pray to recover [him]. "


If you understand anything about Sylvia Plath's life, you're probably thinking about if "Daddy" can be an autobiographical poem? The personal references, imagery, and symbolism used in Plath's "Daddy" do resonate with what's known about her life, like the sophisticated thoughts and unresolved issues she acquired toward her father, a Biology professor at Boston School, who passed on when she was just eight; her inability to deal with her father's untimely fatality; her unsuccessful relationship. When read autobiographically, the lines "At twenty I tried to perish, " identifies Plath's attempted suicide at the age of 20 when she overdosed on sleeping pills. The lines, "The vampire who said he was you/And drank my bloodstream for a year. /Seven years, if you wish to learn. " possibly refer to her unsuccessful matrimony to poet Ted Hughes, which lasted for seven years. Plath, burdened with complexities, devoted suicide when she was 31, abandoning two children and her estranged spouse, the poet Ted Hughes. This reality probably explains the use of brutal and violent imagery, which could only be conjured by a disturbed brain as Plath's was. This autobiographical bank account would describe the brutal, violent imagery used in the poem, which echo the poet's disturbed mind-set and her misunderstanding as a little girl, who feels forgotten and let-down.


While Sylvia Plath's poem deals with the smothering result the father's remembrances got on the presenter, Robert Hayden's "Those Winter Sundays" contrasts the speaker's ideas about his daddy as a child with how he feels about his daddy as a grown-up looking again. Read Robert Hayden's poem "Those Winter Sundays" or watch the poem being recited. On this poem, which is a expanded man's reflections on his father, the speaker represents the complete father-son dynamic with one winter memory. He thinks back to his years as a child and sees his father in different ways than he have as a child.

"Those Winter Sundays" is an American sonnet, with the traditional 14-lines, and has three stanzas. The first and third stanzas are five lines long, and the second stanza has four lines. How exactly does the form hold the poem's theme onward? While using the sonnet form, , the poem reveals problems in the first two stanzas, where in fact the speaker identifies how his daddy gone about his chores for his family and was never liked. The resolution to the problem is presented in the ultimate stanza-the presenter realizes his father's value and seems guilty for how he never thanked him.


Focus on the lines, "Nobody ever before thanked him, " "speaking indifferently to him, " and "What did I know, what did I understand of love's austere and lonely office buildings?" These lines present the speaker's guilt and regret for never appreciating everything his father have for him. Go through the way the poem uses repetition, "What do I understand, what did I know of love's austere and lonely offices?" This brand expresses how lousy the speaker feels about being so obtuse about his father as a kid. And exactly what does "offices" in this range mean? The word "offices" brings to brain the responsibilities and duties that include an authoritative position, in cases like this fatherhood. The "austere and lonesome offices" describe how the speaker's father displayed love by silently and dedicatedly gratifying his responsibilities to his family.

Though an unrhymed poem, a rhythm is created using poetic devices like consonance, repetition, and alliteration. The usage of consonance, with the repetition of the hard "c" and "k" may seem in lines like "cracked hands that ached, " and then in "weekday weather made banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him, " conveys the pain that the daddy endured, and exactly how his efforts travelled unappreciated. The alliteration where the "w" audio is repeated, "in the weekday weather made banked fires blaze, " displays the repetition in the manner the father put in his Weekend mornings.


"Those Winter Sundays" is also abundant with symbolism and imagery. What comes to brain when you read about the "banked fires blazed" and "the cool splintering, breaking"? This aesthetic imagery makes visitors imagine how cool it was through this information of the way the logs in the open fire would burn and crackle and warm-up their home, traveling out the freezing. The "cracked hands" symbolize how hard the father functioned, and the "blueblack frigid" depicts the tough cold that the daddy endured for his family's comfort. What involves mind when you find out about the "banked fires blazed" and "the frigid splintering, breaking"? The aesthetic imagery makes visitors imagine how cool it was through this information of the way the logs in the hearth would burn and crackle and warm-up their home, driving out the cold.

Did you see the transference in the range, "fearing the long-term angers of that house"? The inanimate house isn't irritated. It is the speaker's father who is upset and impatient with his children who were lazy about doing their Sunday morning hours chores. This range is interesting when you go through the poem autobiographically. Hayden, who it is assumed was subjected to beatings by his foster parents Sue Ellen and William Hayden, only cursorily refers to the "chronic angers of this house, " and instead concentrates on the "banked fires blazed" to focus on how his foster father would keep the household warm. In that sense, this poem is not really a criticism of his father's conquering, but a delayed tribute to the man who took aches to look after him.

Lesson Activity-Self-Checked

Answer this question in 125-150 words:

What is the importance of what "Sundays too" in Hayden's "Those Winter Sundays"? Why do you consider the poet used these words, instead of just, "On Sundays"? Support your answer with illustrations from the poem.


Another poet, who explored the theme of the father-son romance, is Theodore Roethke. Read his poem, "My Papa's Waltz" and watch the poem being recited. What do you consider this poem is about? First, especially considering the subject of the poem and the quick tempo as you read, it appears to be about the speaker's fond recollection of playfully dance around with his father after he'd come home from work in the evening.

Let's see what elements of the poem support this interpretation. The structure which comprises of four quatrains and has a tight rhyme scheme of abab/cdcd/efef/ghgh, gives the poem the cadence of any waltz to mirror the bought steps of the daddy and son dance around. However, the waltzing here's rough and energetic, not soft and graceful like waltzing is supposed to be. Likewise, alliteration can be used in lines like, "such waltzing was not easy, " "My mother's countenance, Cannot unfrown itself, " and "the palm that organised my wrist" to add to poem's easy tempo.


Now let's analyze the imagery in Roethke's "My Papa's Waltz". The range, "The whiskey on your breath" evokes olfactory imagery and the viewers can almost smell the whiskey. In the same way, the lines, "We romped until the pans, Slid from the kitchen shelf, " create an image of how boisterous the daddy and kid were as they danced around. Could it be unexpected then that the "mother's countenance/Could not unfrown itself, " possibly because she's to tidy up after them? The images of the "battered" hands and the "palm caked hard by dirt and grime, " indicate that the father worked hard all day, probably at manual labor. Finally, the son "Still clinging to your shirt" conveys his unwillingness to let go of father, not seeking their fun to end.

When interpreted in conditions of the father and kid bonding, this may be an autobiographical poem. The "battered" side and "a palm caked hard by mud" relate with the fact that Roethke's dad ran a greenhouse and it included gardening and manual labor. It is known that Roethke acquired a happy child years and was devastated his father died when he was just 14. The "battered" hand and "a palm caked hard by mud" relate with the fact that Roethke's dad ran a greenhouse and it engaged gardening and manual labor. But is this all there's to the poem? Some critics have interpreted the poem in a dark, ominous way.


Is Roethke's "My Papa's Waltz" a poem about a son's happy recollections of playing with his dad or is this about alcoholism and child abuse? You've just seen how this can be construed in the light, happy way, not let's see how this poem can take a dark move.

The image that the father "beat time" on the child's head with a "battered" palm, and of the "whiskey on [his] breath" is thought by some to indicate that the father would come home drunk and become physically abusive. This is utilized to make clear why, the kid is "dizzy" and "hung on like loss of life. " The range, "My right hearing scraped a buckle, " is also interpreted as an indicator of violence. When interpreted such as this the mother's "frowning countenance, " is believed to communicate her helplessness as she couldn't save her child from her alcoholic spouse.

Which of the two interpretations is true? It's interesting that whenever the poem was published in 1948, it was seen only as a happy, noisy, and strenuous dancing around of the father and son. More recently, this poem has been interpreted as a depiction of child mistreatment.

Lesson Activity-Self-Checked

Answer this question in 200-225 words:

Which interpretation of Theodore Roethke's "My Papa's Waltz" does one trust? Support your answer with cases from the poem.


Written in the first person, both Hayden's "Those Winter Sundays" and Roethke's "My Papa's Waltz" are about childhood thoughts about fathers. Oddly enough, though Hayden is known to have endured beatings at the hands of his foster parents, most critics, dismiss his record and the powerful image of "the persistent angers of that house, " and view "Those Winter Sundays" as a poem in regards to a son's regret for being unappreciative of his daddy. On the other hand, critics view "My Papa's Waltz" in different ways; some view it as a poem about child abuse and alcoholism, while some interpret it as a poem about a happy father-son marriage. These interpretations show just how important diction is in interpreting a poem. The use of words such as "blueblack frosty" and lines like, "What performed I understand, what does I know/of love's austere and unhappy office buildings?" and "Sundays too my dad got up early on" depict the father in Hayden's poem as an affectionate, caring man. While the use of "dizzy, " "hung on like fatality, " "battered, " "scraped, " and "battered using one knuckle" creates an image of an abusive dad in Roethke's "My Papa's Waltz".

Let's check out how these two poems compare structurally. "Those Winter Sundays" is an American sonnet with three stanzas, the first and third stanzas are five-lines long, and the second stanza has four lines. This poem does not follow any rhyme plan. Alternatively "My Papa's Waltz" is made up of four quatrains and has a tight rhyme structure of abab/cdcd/efef/ghgh which makes the poem sound like a waltz. Both Hayden and Roethke use powerful imagery in their poems. The lines, "and put his clothes on in the blueblack frigid, / then with cracked hands that ached" and "banked fires blaze. " from "Those Winter Sundays" are examples of imagery and alliteration used to describe the father's effort. In "My Papa's Waltz, " Roethke also uses alliteration and imagery in lines such as "But I hung on like fatality, / Such waltzing had not been easy, " "The palm that kept my wrist, / Was battered on one knuckle, " and "Which has a hand caked hard by dirt and grime, " to help viewers visualize how the father and son romped around.



Over the years, poets have explored the father-child romantic relationship in their poems. Sometimes the poem may be from a father's perspective, sometimes from a child's, and sometimes from the point of view of an grown adult looking again at childhood memory. And depending on the poem's theme, poets use different forms and poetic devices to place across their ideas about fathers. While Orr writes about what a father shows and learns from his children, Cummings's "my dad moved through dooms of love" is reverential and written in his unique style so he is able to freely exhibit himself. Hayden's "Those Winter Times" is written in the American sonnet form, and expresses a son's guilt at being indifferent towards his dad. Roethke's tightly organized "My Papa's Waltz" identifies the rhythmic and spirited boogie of the father-son relationship. Thomas's "USUALLY DO NOT Go Gentle In To The Good Nights" is about a child who can't deal with the very thought of his dad dying. And Plath's confessional "Daddy" is about the speaker's lack of ability to deal with her thoughts of abandonment at her father's loss of life.

Examples of completed orders
More than 7 000 students trust us to do their work
90% of customers place more than 5 orders with us
Special price $5 /page
Check the price
for your assignment