report on letters from a father

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Perhaps some people’s first impression on Mona Van Duyn’s “Letters from a Father” is that its topic a cliché; since poems about death are not rare at all. However, Van Duyn’s unique interpretations and attitude towards her writing style, which are apart from other poets, shall also be discovered if one dwells on her poem. In the poem “Letters from a father”, it mainly portrays the daily life of a father, a mother and those feeders (birds). Throughout the poem, it may seem that it emphasizes the process of characters’ acceptance of birds and understanding on their daughter. Nevertheless, if we look deeper into the change in tones, repetitions and words use developed in the poem, it is arguable that the parent’s changes in acceptance of birds are in fact implying a mental process of bestirring from illnesses, which is most readers do not see. This is believed as an important interpretation since it reveals the poet’s attitude towards death, which underlie beneath the literal meaning of the poem. To briefly summarize this poem, I believe that the poem could be separated into three parts: The first part is composed in the first and second letters, which stress on the negative emotions towards the miserable pains, illnesses that the parents are baring, and also their hatred of the birds. The second part, I believe will be the third and fourth letters, which talks about the birds’ fights and the visiting lady from the church. And the last part, starts from the fifth letters to the rest of them, which mainly describe the harmonious life between the parents and those birds. As mentioned, the parents’ pains, negative emotions and hatred are presented in the first part. Even from the first few lines from the poem: “Ulcerated tooth keeps me... ... middle of paper ... ...t is arguable that the birds fight is also a metaphor, implying the fight exists not only between birds but also in the father’s mind. Finally, the last part confirms the transformation of the parents, from a life-weary attitude to a “moving on” one by contrasting the gloomy and harmonious letter. In addition, readers should consider this changed attitude as a preference of the poet. Within the poem, we would be able to the repetitions of word with same notion. Take the first part of the poem as example, words like death, illness Overall, dwell on this process of changing throughout the poem, it can be understood that the poet is demonstrating a particular attitude towards life. Everyone declines and dies eventually, but it would be better to embrace an optimistic, opened mind than a pessimistic, giving-up attitude; face the approach of death unflinchingly, calmly.

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