Poetry Analysis: Sylvia Plath & Robert Hayden

1454 words - 6 pages

Poetry Analysis: Hayden & PlathWhen a child is reared into this world, ideally, it is assumed that it will have both a devoted mother and father that are able and, most of all, willing to provide it with care and unconditional love. A parent's role in a child's life is ultimately essential in their many developments of social behavior amongst and towards society. One key attribute of this development is the ability to understand and survive the world's many obstacles and challenges. A second attribute is acknowledging your own short comings and being able to address them head on. Finally, because children are taught how to learn and conduct themselves, their ability to obtain maturity could be argued as a learned behavior. And where might it have been learned? That is a question that could be approached in various ways, but today, we will address the father's contribution, of both physical and mental, of affection and love, and the results of this. A father's impact is like that of the rain: it could be seen as shedding gloom or the start of growth; and if more fathers realized this, more children would grow up living healthier, fulfilling life. Robert Hayden's poem "Those Winter Sundays" and Sylvia Plath's infamous poem "Daddy" will support my ideology of a father's true impact on his child's life. The many comparisons and contrasts these two poems offer will allow the exploration of how they both expressed their thoughts on the same issue.Hayden and Plath's similarities were uniquely orthodox in such a way that seemed like they were distant siblings, sharing relatively like emotions of regret and hurt in the memory of their fathers. Both poets expressed that they missed their father and felt the time they had was way too short. In line 13 of Hayden's poem, he stated "What did I know, what did I know/ of love's austere and lonely offices?" This indicated an underlining desire to revisit that time period shared with his father in hopes to do things differently. When he repeated the phrase "What did I know," it seems that he is expressing two separate questions, whereas the repeated phrase is linked to line 14 ("of love's austere and lonely offices") of which refers to his father's loneliness in his daily struggles as a father and provider. In Plath's poem, she seems to go back and forth with the emotions of love and anguish. In line 6 she states "Daddy, I have had to kill you" which is transparently dark and anguish-filled. But she comes behind that statement in line 7 and undermines that anguish by stating "You died before I had time -" which clearly indicates she wished she had more time because she missed him. She also states in line 59 "And get back, back, back to you" even after he died. That line could possibly be interpreted that she attempted to commit suicide, acknowledging her history, three times to meet with him again. If she was not missing him, more than likely she would not have taken those extreme measures.Both Hayden and...

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