01 October 2012
Father-Son relationships are difficult to keep steady. One day, everything is great then before you know it, it is hard to have even a decent conversation. In the poem A Story by Li-Young Lee, it seems that the father of a boy is having a tough time watching his little boy grow up.
Within the first few stanzas, you find that the father and the son enjoy reading stories together and that they have bonded much over this classic bedtime activity. In stanza 3, it says “and soon, he thinks, the boy will give up on his father.” At this point in the poem, the mood changes from a happy, youthful tone to one of fear. The father realizes his son will soon not enjoy doing the same things he has in the past with his father. He will grow up and begin doing more grown-up and independent things. As the poem begins to come to a close, the father begins questioning his son and then himself. “Are you a god, the man screams, that I sit mute before you? Am I a god that I should never disappoint?” The father seems to be comparing himself to God. In the Christian religion, you can’t hear or see God, but we try so hard not to disappoint him. The father is making references to God while realizing that their relationship is different than the way it was before. Finally, in the last stanza, the Father reminisces on old memories and begins to become comfortable with what has happened between him and his son, realizing that the silence between them could be a form of love.