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The main theme of these three poems deal with parental relationship. The author Li-Young Lee describes the different situations he experienced as a child, which now are fond memories, giving metaphors of his details in a way that the reader has to unscramble the puzzle so that his story can be understood and seen thru his eyes. His family memories are relived through his poems.
In the poem Early in the Morning, the author is expressing that his mother would get up really early, to make breakfast even before the birds were awake. He talks about his mother combing her hair with an ivory brush; her hair was really black and thick as calligrapher's ink. His father would watch his mother sit at the edge of the bed as she combs her hair and he listens for the music of comb against hair, this was a routine that the father enjoyed. When Li-Young Lee says, "My father watches, listens for the music of comb against hair" he is using music to represent the feeling of happiness that music brings the parental relationship is clear. It clearly shows the love between the mother and the father. It shows the father's love for the mother because he admires her while she does her morning routines. It also shows the mother's love for the father. She shows this by doing things that the father likes. For example her morning ritual of putting up her hair, "For half a hundred years she has done this." Her husband likes her hair this way so she has done it for that way for 50 years. The intimacy of the relationship is clearly defined when Li-Young Lee describes his father pulling the pins out of her hair in the evening. The association of pulling the pins out and untying the curtains creates a private/intimate atmosphere. He enjoys seeing her hair fall, as if he was describing what you would see when untying curtains.
The parental relationship in Eating Together represents the relationship between mother and son. Li-Young Lee is describing how his mother would cook her fish and the condiments she would use, the whole family would share this beautiful prepared meal. The love and respect he has for his mother is apparent. His father has passed away and he has put her in the honorable position of head of house. The poem describes them eating their meal. Mom is given the honor of eating the best piece of fish which usually is saved for the father. She will "Taste the sweetest meat of the head." He describes her as handling the food "deftly." Showing she is as skillful and clever as his father was. After expressing the pride he has for his mother, now that his father has passed and she has taken the head of house role the author goes into a deep dark path explaining how his father's death appeared to him.
Mnemonic is a poem that shows the parental relationship between father and son. In this poem he remembers being cold and his father taking off his sweater and putting it on him, as a hero would to save someone, he never gave it back because that sweater would always remember him of his father the hero. He says "flamboyant blue in daylight, poor blue by daylight" to me when he says flamboyant blue in daylight it represents bright blue in that time of his memory, poor blue by daylight is now in the present the sweater is probably faded and old with black in the folds. Another stanza of the poem shows a negative aspect of their relationship. It talks about how his father would be disappointed in him because "there is no order to my memory, a heap of details, uncatalogued, illogical." In contrast, his father was very organized, "a man who forgot nothing." His father was an intelligent man that devised complex systems and had different ways of remembering things. You can clearly see the love for his father when he says "God was lonely. So he made me." He associates his father to god. Even though he remembers all these good memories he doesn't forget the bad, but he doesn't blame the father for spanking him, in a way he understood that his father spanked him because he had to, and he knows it hurt his father to do so. Even though he talks about how some of the memories of his father were painful he says, "Memory is sweet."
The hurricane's Medina with their turbulent blasts
Arrives in an instant with chaos surpassed
Thunder and lightning crash, quiet.
Ending the hurricane's medina's riot
As quickly as they arrived they passed just as fast
I chose a hurricane as a metaphor for my family. They make my life enjoyable even though at times it can be chaotic. They are lovable little hurricanes that bring excitement and joy to people. To simply analyze my poem my kids can be crazy and create ruckus like a hurricane, for example my wife cleans the house and has it organized until they arrive home from school and all hell breaks loose, backpacks, school papers, and homework all over the place. My living room appears as if a hurricane has passed thru. I represent the thunder and lightning, I'm the one whom they fear so when I start yelling and telling them to pick up their mess and organize everything the way it was they calm down from their hyper activeness, they relax and start cleaning up their mess and doing their homework. All is back to normal for now until the next school day, when the hurricane's medina comes thru my living room once again.
I got a Father, My Sisters got a dad
His name is Jesus, my father
A strict man, hard worker, no one he would bother
Respected by many
At the age of 13 had to become head of household
And learn how to make a new penny.
I feared him, he was a big strong man
Not once did I see in his hand a beer can
He never put bad examples for his children
Okay so maybe one fault, he cursed like a sailor
He drove a bright red semi with a white trailer
Go wash the truck, rake the leaves, why are you
Always misbehaving, was the only communication
I got from him, my sisters got a dad, and I was stuck with a father
Even thou till this day I have never heard my father say
He loves me, I know he does, in his own way
He made me the man I am today, I hope I will fill his shoes one day
I look at him now not so big, not so strong
He looks at his grandchildren with such love
Tells me to hug them and kiss them for him on the phone
One thing is for sure, I promise to be a father
And a dad to my kids, this is where the cycle stops
To begin my father is named after Jesus so u would think he was a saint, of course nobody is perfect but he tried, at least we didn't see it. He was a strict man; in a way I think it was because he had to become the bread winner in his house at the age of thirteen, he had to support my grandmother, my aunties and uncle. He would sell bread, polish shoes and cut wood for people and deliver it, just to make a couple of bucks. At that age, in the states we are worrying about what name brand shoes we got, who's got the coolest clothes and video games, so I can't even imagine what he had to go thru. One bad thing he did was curse like crazy and he didn't care who was around especially if you messed with his money. My father was a truck driver, in the summer we would take trips with him at times it was fun, even if we were in the same truck he would hardly speak to me. He always was so serious with me, I don't know if it was to make me stern like him or just he didn't know what to say since he never got the chance to have a relationship with his father. My sisters where a little luckier my dad joked with them and played around with them, so that's why I say they got a dad and I was stuck with a father, one thing I promised myself was to be a father to my children but also a dad, they know the difference, father when they need to be corrected or disciplined and dad is when I'm playing, joking, reading a book to them, tucking them into bed, and I'm not afraid or ashamed to express that I love them. Good or bad they know they can come and talk to me with anything they might have a problem with.
To summarize my paper, I analyzed three poems by Li-Young Lee which fell under the subject of parental relationship, I expressed how I viewed these poems thru my eyes and seen how poems are not boring. You just have to learn how to analyze them more in depth then what the normal eye picks up; with my poems I tried to express the parental relationship I had with my father and the relationship with my children and realized that family memories are relived thru poems.