Dad By Elaine Feinstein
The poem that I'll be analyzing in this commentary is called 'Dad' by Elaine Feinstein. This poem is an emotional and lyrical poem in which the author is reflecting and recalling upon the memories of her deceased father. The main tones that are portrayed in this poem are sorrow, lovingness and mournfulness, and one way in which this is portrayed is through the methodology in which the poem is read, which is in a slow rhythmic speech and enjambment since it is a free verse poem.
The author’s intentions behind this poem are clear. She is simply portraying her loving feelings for her father and the grief that she undergoes through his decease. She shows her intentions through the loving lines and sentimental memories, for example in lines 1-3 “Those black fat raisins you like to press into my palm from your soft heavy hands” the author recalls such simple yet meaningful memories with great detail which shows that she valued the memories dearly. Signs of grief are shown from when the she moans about her father, such as in lines 12-14 when she says, “Beached: cold, white-faced, shivering. What happened, old bull, my loyal hoarse-voiced warrior?”; In these lines, Elaine uses diction to prove a stronger point . As well as that, Elaine uses lots of imagery throughout this poem, such as in that last quote and in lines 4-6 “I see you staggering back up the path with sacks of potatoes from some local farm, fresh eggs, flowers.”; This quote however also shows how dearly she loved her father. Imagery is an effective poetic device for this poem since it generates/creates an emotional connection for the audience/reader making her message clearer.
As well as imagery, the author uses many different poetic devices, for example in lines 13-14 when she says “Beached: cold, white-faced, shivering. What happened, old bull, my loyal hoarse-voiced warrior?” she is using a metaphor and comparing her father to a bull, which is a courageous and strong animal. With this metaphor, Elaine is portraying how dearly she loved her father and how he was a “bull” in her eyes. As well as that in lines 5-6 when Elaine says “Farm, fresh eggs, flowers” the author uses alliteration to evokes emotion and the pleasing tone of alliteration then catches the reader’s attention before telling the audience about her father’s death “Every day I grieve” at the end of line 6.