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How Are Relationships Between Parents and Children Presented in P...

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How Are Relationships Between Parents and Children Presented in Poetry?

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  • October 1, 2012
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Many poets use poetry to express their feelings on their relationships with their parents or children. ‘Poem at Thirty-Nine’ by Alice Walker is about a girl who has grown into an adult and is thinking back to when she was younger. In the poem she talks about how much she misses her father because he has passed away. ‘Piano’ by D.H. Lawrence is about a man that is reminded of his mother who always played the piano for him because of a woman that he hears singing. ‘A Mother in a Refugee Camp’ by Chinua Achebe is about a woman that is in a refugee camp with her young child who is so sick that he is sure to die soon.

‘Poem at Thirty-Nine’ presents childhood as a lonely, emotional experience. The woman in this poem has many fond memories of her father but she also has a lot of regret. She misses him very much and she is sad because she wishes she could have spent more time with him when she was a young girl. In the poem she says, “How I miss my father. I wish he had not been so tired when I was born.” She wishes that her father wasn’t too exhausted to spend time with her when she was a young girl. The reader probably feels sorry for the little girl and some people may feel like they can relate to the girl when it comes to spending time with parents. This also relates to ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’ because the man in this poem also misses his father except he isn’t dead yet. He doesn’t want him to die. ‘Piano’ presents childhood as safe, secure and serene. As like in ‘Poem at Thirty-Nine’ the man has fond memories of time spent with his mother who he misses so much that it brings him to tears to think back to his childhood. The poem says, “Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past”. As he remembers his childhood, he begins to cry because he misses the times with his mother. It is unusual for a man to cry and he was embarrassed because men did not cry in the early 1900’s. This makes the reader think back to childhood memories that...