Themes: Parent/Child Relationship, Love, Loss

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Type: Free Verse

Background

  • Written by Alice Walker – awarded Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (The Colour Purple)
  • The poet wrote this poem at an age where most people face a new phase in life
  • This poem is partly about the sadness at the loss of a father and the regrets the daughter has but also an appreciation and celebration of what he has given her & she has inherited
  • The poem is about parental love

Verses

  • First verse expresses how much she missed her father – simple, direct language, combined sense of love and loss
  • Second verse describes how writing cheques and deposit slips reminds her of him
  • There is a change in mood after the second announcement of “How I miss my father”
  • It turns from her current prosperity to his advice to a more playful and joyous stream of recollections
  • The final third of the poem she tells us the domestic chores and simple pleasures in life links her to that of her father.

Language

  • She uses simple, direct language
  • It is written in free (or blank) verse – suits the conversational, informal mood
  • Enjambment gives the effect of free-flowing thought patterns
  • Simile – cooking yoga
  • Informal and familiar

Tone

  • The first two-thirds of the poem has a tone of regretful longing
  • The tone is conversational

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READ:
Alice Walker’s The Color Purple: Summary & Analysis

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