Written Commentary on the Poem "Father to Son" by Elizabeth Jennings

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The poem “Father To Son” speaks about a father, the speaker, who complains about how he does not understand his own child despite living together since the time of his son’s birth. As the title might suggest, the poem encompasses the feelings the father has towards his son, hence the title makes it look like the poem is a letter from father to son, conveying the father’s feelings. The purpose of this poem is to inform readers that it is indeed a tragic thing to be unable to have a close relationship with your own son. It is to perhaps targeted at parents, telling them to treasure the time they have with their families, especially their children, lest they end up like the speaker in the poem, having a distant relationship with his son. The poem has no regular structure and has only one verse made up of twenty four lines. There is also no significant rhyme scheme. Each line in the poem however, has words that add up to a total of eight syllables. This suggests that the relationship between the father and the son is constantly distant, as each line has the same number of syllables throughout the poem. The general emotion of this poem is regret and hope. The speaker regrets not treasuring the time he had with his son and the outcome of the efforts he put into building a relationship with his son. He regrets the fact that he is not as close to his son as he wants to be. Yet there is hope for the situation to improve. The speaker feels that there is still hope for the relationship between him and his son would get closer. There is also a biblical allusion present in the poem. The writer described the speaker’s desperation for his relationship with his son to get better by using the word prodigal. In the bible, the parable of the prodigal son speaks of how the son of a very wealthy man squanders away his share in his father’s riches and then returns home begging for his father to accept him. this biblical allusion shows that the relationship is so bad, the father would...
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