Reader Response: Dawn by James Laughlin

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Professor Boniecki
English H102
30 January 2013

Reader Response Paper #1:

After reading all of the assigned poetry and having sincerely vivid images accompany almost all of them, I settled on “Dawn” by James Laughlin for my first writing assignment. Hearing the writer’s disheveled thoughts, spilling out and changing lanes without signaling, reminds me of my father who up until recently I was very close to.

Thomas [Last Name] is an older man at seventy-five whose thoughts and memory are reflected perfectly in this piece. The randomness of the writer’s thoughts, quickly moving from one irrelevant subject to another, reminds me of conversations that I have shared with my father in recent years. Also, similar to the poem, “Often now as an old man/Who sleeps only four hours a night/I wake before dawn, dress and go down” (1-3) my father sleeps very few hours at night and is always the first person out of bed every morning, before dawn, to make the coffee and read his newspaper. When I go to [His State] and visit the family, every morning he’s been up for hours reading, walking the dog, feeding the cat, meditating and hitting the gym, before my feet ever touch the floor.

As far as our conversations, it wasn’t always like that; my father is actually a very wise man with knowledge of many different cultures, religions, governments as well as writers, architects and artists. There is no subject off limits when having a sit-down or cup of coffee. Not long ago, our conversations were organized with one subject trailing perfectly into another, smoothly, seamlessly. But in the last couple of years our conversations could easily confuse any onlooker that comes within earshot. Before he turned seventy-three, I could always tell when my father had smoked marijuana before sitting down with me because he became very philosophical, his words exiting his mouth like puffs of air with rounded edges; very unlike his unaltered demeanor that contained sharp wit,...
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