Fathers in Poetry

4 April 2015
A paper which analyzes four poems and shows how relationships with fathers are expressed through these poems.

A paper which studies four poems – Lucille Clifton’s Forgiving My Father, Theodore Roethke’s poem “My Father’s Waltz , Raymond Carver’s Photograph of my Father in his Twenty-Second Year and Sylvia Plath’s Daddy – and the poets’ relationships with their fathers. The paper shows how the four poets have each tried to assess the essential relationships in their own childhood through exploration of the meaning of their interactions with their fathers. It discusses how in each of these poems there is a sense of loss or disappointment and a sense of anger as each poet considers the ways in which his or her father betrayed the child that they once were.
Too many parents, and we see this especially in Lucille Clifton’s `Forgiving My Father` try to compensate later in life for what they did not do when their children were younger – but this remains something that is almost impossible for the children to forgive. It is as if firefighters came to the scene of a disaster years after the family home had burnt to the ground ` pleading that they were busy doing more important things in the meantime ` and then wondered why it was that people were not grateful to see them still.”
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