First Lesson by Phillip Booth
Length: 352 words (1 double-spaced pages)
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A fathers encouragement is essential to the development and learning process of a child. This is true for any situation, from teaching a child how to swim, or introducing a child into the real world. The poem, "First Lesson," by Phillip Booth shows a fathers encouragement by teaching his daughter to float in a "stream" so that one day she can float by herself in the "sea." Metaphorically the father is preparing and guiding his daughter to be in the real world alone and survive. Booth uses several phrases and words to convey the meaning of the poem through diction, tone and imagery.
Booth's diction in this poem parellels the meaning of the poem to the tone and imagery. The connotation of the words like, "gently," "gulls," "survive," and "stars," show peacefulness and innocence and show Booth's tone, which is encouraging and mellow. Booth uses "gently," because he is telling his daughter to take life easy and don't rush things. The diction also gives more information about the daughter that is in the text. Booth never gives her a name, he calls her daughter. In this sense the connotation of daughter gives the notion that the girl is young and at the adolescent stage in her life. This explains why the father is teaching her how to swim / introducing her into the world.
The authors tone is encouraging and hopeful. He is straight -forward and mellow. Booth uses "gently," "thrash," "stars," "hold," and many other words to convey the tone that he presents. The first two lines help show the authors tone the best. They show his support to his daughter. He is helping her so that one day she can do it all by her self. Lines 6 -- 8 show the authors encouragement to his daughter. Even though she can do it all by herself he is letting her know that she will have it one day.
This poem is filled with imagery, appealing to the sight. It gives you a mental picture of the message that he is conveying. "Look high at the gulls,"
Is one line of imagery that booth uses to give us a picture of his daughter trying to float and the beautiful scenery that is around her.
"You will dive and swim soon enough where this tidewater ebbs the sea," this is encouragement from the father to the daughter. It gives us a good picture of what he sees her doing once she learns to swim by herself.
The tone, diction and imagery all contribute to the meaning of the peom. The poem, "First Lesson," by Phillip Booth shows a father encouragement in showing his daughter how to swim and preparing her to be in the world alone.