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After Making Love We Hear Footsteps Analysis

1299 words - 6 pages

"Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own," said Robert Heinlein (YourTango). Affirmative, love can be really powerful in which the value of love from others is the greatest ecstasy in life. Love is existence everywhere around us; we are born to love and love to die with the love of family, lovers, and friends. In Galway Kinnell’s poem “After Making Love We Hear Footsteps” Kinnell writes about the love between parents and child, and it was published in 1980. Kinnell was born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. He is married, and has a son and two daughters on his own, so that the poem “After Making Love We Hear Footsteps” is relating to his own married life as he mentions about his son, Fergus, in the poem. Galway Kinnell is an excellent poet for his poems are always “connect to the experiences of daily life” (Poetry Foundation). The main theme of this poem is the speaker of the poem portrays a serious and resentful attitude towards the speaker’s child interrupting their act of passion, but eventually leads into a sentiment of commitment and innocence when the speaker realized that the love of a child is significantly more important than sex. In “After Making Love We Hear Footsteps,” Galway Kinnell uses tone, diction and irony to express the humorous and admiring outlook of sex, and also the effects of children on sex intercourse.
The beginning of the poem starts with a humorous tone. Kinnell begins his poem with a simile “snore like a bullhorn”, an “Irishman”, or playing “loud music” to express the idea of something that is really loud and noisy, but still cannot wake the son up as opposed to the child’s ability to wake up to “heavy breathing” and a “come-cry” (line1-7). The tone that the speaker portrays creates the sense that the poem is mocking the speaker’s inability to participate in sexual activities. Kinnell describes how every time his and his wife make love, his son always come to snuggle with them; and when Fergus does come to snuggle with them at first it seems that Kinnell would be annoyed, but the tone of the poem switches to that of satisfaction and love for his son and that he is comforting that his child has returned to where he was conceived. When the child asks the parents if they are “loving and snuggling” and if he may “join” (line 16); he clearly recognizes that his parents are engaging in the making love, but still insists that he must join. The speaker submits to allow the child to join them in bed which change the tone to that of admiration. The poem becomes warmer at this point, and the tone of the poem immediately switches to the speaker being appreciative and grateful that the “blessing” of “love” could produce the child (line 25). The moment when they "touch arms across his little...body" shows the marital love and the parental love are united in one (line21). “The illusions of privacy may be shattered, but the trails of parenthood have made us more of a team….when a toddler...

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