Pains

663 Words3 Pages
While I have yet to experience the thrills of fatherhood, I would be astounded to learn that the author was not a father himself. When reading this poem, I actually felt the compassion, and love, for which the author was feeling towards his daughter. In my opinion, there are actually two stories being told within this poem. The first simply being a narrative of what the author is experiencing at a certain moment of time, and the second is that of an underlying theme of love and pride that a father feels towards his daughter. The poem begins with the father listening to his daughter typing a story on her typewriter. The authors description of her typing as, “Like a chain hauled over a gunwale”, gives the reader the feeling that she is really into her work and typing with all of her might. It is clear that the daughter takes her writing seriously. The father then comments on his young daughter’s struggle through life. He states, “Of her life is a great cargo, and some of it is heavy”. While he doesn’t give details of the hardships she has incurred, it is clear that she has had some sorrow in her life. The father’s enjoyment of listening to his daughter’s labor of love is suddenly ended, upon hearing the typing cease. He states that the stoppage was, “As if to reject my thought and its easy figure”. It’s as if his world has temporarily stopped, and he feels the pain that his daughter is feeling while looking for her next words to write. The quietness must be intense, as he states; “The whole house seems to be thinking”. And then, as quickly as the typing had stopped, it began again. At this point in the poem, the father starts to reminisce about an incident that occurred two years prior, in the very same room that his daughter is working. He tells a story of a starling, which had become trapped, inside the room. Both the father and the daughter watched as the bird struggled to find its way out of the room. The details given by the author, give an image of a beautiful bird that is fighting for its life, to get back to it’s comfort zone outdoors. He uses the lines, “Batter against the brilliance, drop like a glove To the hard floor, or the desk-top”. I see this as an analogy of his daughter battering against the keys, maybe throwing her hands to her head, and slumping over.

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