Compare & Contrast Essay
The poem, “To a Daughter Leaving Home”, by Linda Pastan, depicts the scene of a mother teaching her little girl to ride a bike at the age of eight and watching her master it. Yvor Winter’s “At the San Francisco Airport" is about a father reminiscing about the memory of his daughter growing up and leaving him at the airport. Both these poems speak of the much dreaded time in a parent’s life where their daughter’s grow up and leave their homes. Although the poems appear to be similar because they address the same theme, they differ in form, tone, and imagery.
The poems are different in form. In "To a Daughter Leaving Home”, Linda Pastan uses open form, with no identifiable rhyme pattern or meter. Maybe there’s no identifiable pattern because these are just the mother’s random thoughts. On the other hand “At the San Francisco Airport”, Yvor Winters uses a closed form that is very distinctive. There are five stanzas and each stanza has five lines. All the lines rhyme; three have one rhyming ending and the other two also have a rhyming ending. For example: "This is the terminal: the light/Gives perfect vision, false and hard;/The metal glitters, deep and bright./Great planes are waiting in the yard-/They are already in the night”. Light, bright and night rhyme, as well as hard and yard. Maybe the author chose the closed form because of its structure, controlled and intact, just like he wanted to keep feelings.
The tone of "To a Daughter Leaving Home" differs from the tone in "At the San Francisco Airport". The tone of “To A Daughter Leaving Home” is one of sadness, anxiety and nostalgia. Pastan’s poem is of a mother fondly remembering an earlier time when her daughter took a briefer departure from her, when she was taught to ride her bike at eight years old. The mother wasn’t quite ready to let the daughter go, as was suggested when she said, “I kept waiting for the thud of your crash as I sprinted to catch up, while you...
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