When I first read “Forgiving My Father,” by Lucille Clifton, I was confused about the meaning of the poem. I thought that it was going to be about her forgiving her father, but I never noticed her actually forgiving her father. By analyzing the overall message, the diction, and the structure of “forgiving my father,” I realized that she never did forgive her father. Although she tried to forgive him, there was too much hate, and eventually she walks away from his grave.
The diction that Clifton uses in the poem is very interesting. For example, Clifton never capitalizes a single word, not even in the title. This shows that she does not feel that the words are important enough to emphasize, even though in every other poem they would be capitalized. Another interesting thing that she does is that she uses different names to refer to her father like “daddy,” “old lecher,” “old man,” and “old dead man” (9-20). This shows that her view of her father changed throughout the story. Starting with “daddy” she appears to be remembering her child...
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- The title of Lucille Clifton's poem, "forgiving my father", seems to be in sharp opposition with the poem itself. There seems to be no forgiveness, yet the title claims that it is there. The entire poem focuses on the debt of the author's father. "it is Friday." she says, "we have come to the paying of the bills." (1-2). But perhaps it doesn't necessarily mean that it is literally Friday, perhaps she just means it is the end, and maybe the debt isn't one of money, but of love. Clifton is using a monetary debt to symbolize a debt of love and affection.... [tags: Forgiving My Father Essays]
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