The Eye and Poem to my Husband from my Father's Daughter Essay

The Eye and Poem to my Husband from my Father's Daughter Essay

Length: 1668 words (4.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

                                              French 1

In this paper I will discuss two poems by Sharon Olds. They are both taken from her collection “The Dead and the Living” and are entitled “The Eye” and “Poem to My Husband from my Fathers Daughter.”
     Olds is a contemporary writer who expertly maneuvers her work through modern life. In this particular collection, written in 1983, she takes us on an explorative journey through both the past and present of family life. I will explore the role of the family in both these poems and how, through the collection, a realization and acceptance is reached.
     I felt it fitting to choose these two poems, as the first one is taken from “Poems for the living” and the second from “Poems for the dead.” This collection of poems explores the role of family within society, how through its dysfunction we can learn to exist as a person despite the odds. The collection helps Olds’ explore the truth about family and how we learn to eventually accept them, one way or another.
The poems, according to Contemporary literary Criticism move from “The public to the private as the collection turns from the dead towards the living.” (Gaffrey 121)
What struck me about these two poems in particular is the universal truths they reveal, firstly in “The Eye,” how one learns to hate, and then resent and in “A Poem to my Husband from My Father’s Daughter,” how a woman come to terms with her father’s legacy.
The first poem I will discuss is from the first portion of the book and as I analyze the piece, it is easy to see the distinction between the tone of the two poems. “The Eye” begins by saying: “Bad Grandfather wouldn’t feed us. He turned the lights out when we tried to read”(19).
This line is a stark image that draws a clear picture of the pain this child associated with this man. As the poem continues, we are invited to see more “Snapshots of the darker side of family life” (Gaffrey 22). According to Brian Dillon in his essay the poems speaker is responding both as a child and an adult (Dillon 109). This becomes more evident to me as the poem continues, “H...

... middle of paper ...

... she can make others happy.
To conclude these two poems are distinctly different in the message they relay. “The Eye” reveals the raw emotion of a child when faced with cruelty within the family unit. Olds has a unique ability to reveal these emotions with the sense to keep the descriptions brief and stark for the greatest impact.
Then comes the realization for escape as an adult through the trap door under the bed. “The Poem to My Husband from My Father’s Daughter”(56) gives the reader another strong and concise poem to explore. Again Olds doesn’t mince words, preferring to relay the message of acceptance through short sentences and a short poem. The pain and suffering are evident within these poems, however in agreement with Gaffey in Contemporary Literary Criticism I believe these poems to be designed as family album of snapshots, however horrible they might be they result “in a kind of recognition of family life.”(123)
With this in mind I would agree with Dillon and Hudziks notion that Olds’ poems do not come across as a soul in torment, more of a journey to liberate herself. These poems take us on a journey of self-discovery that is evident very evident in these two poems.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Analysis Of Lucille Clifton 's ' Forgiving My Father ' Essay

- "Forgiving My Father", a poem written by Lucille Clifton, is about a relationship between a daughter and her father. Lucille Clifton is a female poet/author for several poems and children 's book. She was born in 1936 "in a small town near Buffalo, New York"; she attended Howard University, and she earned her teaching degree at Fredonia State Teacher 's College. She won numerous awards and recognitions, including an Emmy, for her works. She died in 2010 after a long battle with cancer. "Forgiving My Father" is part of the collection in her 1980 book Two-Headed Woman (Schilb and Clifford 270)....   [tags: Family, Mother, Forgiveness, Poetry]

Strong Essays
1041 words (3 pages)

The Odyssey Literary Analysis Essay

- “The Odyssey” is an epic poem that tells the story of Odysseus and the story of his many travels and adventures. The Odyssey tells the main character’s tale of his journey home to the island of Ithaca after spending ten years fighting in the Trojan War, and his adventures when he returns home and he is reunited with his family and close friends. This literary analysis will examine the story and its characters, relationships, major events, symbols and motifs, and literary devices. There is a copious amount of major characters in the story....   [tags: Homer's Epic poem]

Strong Essays
1143 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of The Poem ' Penny Lies '

- Penny lies, in full 18th century attire, with a ruffled blouse, bonnet and all, clinging to a ragged doll. Her appearance is prominent against the scurrying, present day city life that circles her. She looks lost and displaced. The pavement she lies on is cold, grimy and damp but this doesn 't bother her. She looks and feels so tiny as she glares vacantly into her own mind, attempting to make sense of the perplexing thoughts racing through her head and the bizarre world that surrounds her. Although she feels detached within herself, the people around her see nothing but a little girl playing make believe....   [tags: Anxiety, Mind, The Corridor, The Open Door]

Strong Essays
1084 words (3.1 pages)

Summary Of The Poem ' Joshua ' Essay example

- Eventually, Joshua and I had a few disagreements and he continues to prove to me that he is right. I do not agree with him, but I believe that Joshua is entitled to his own opinion. Joshua has a bachelor’s degree in business and he is Catholic. Joshua is also Bahamian and Puerto Rican. Again, Joshua is being forced to not stay true to himself, but to prove his masculinity to his family, friends, and society. Joshua and I have discussions regarding gender, race, and religious issues quite frequently....   [tags: Gender, Sociology, Gender role, Man]

Strong Essays
803 words (2.3 pages)

Essay Analysis Of The Poem ' The Jungle Husband '

- admitted, writing to a publisher that she did not want her work promoted in Palmers Green where she lived, because “a lot of the people here are in the novels and poems” according to William May, who wrote reviews on a number of Smith’s poems in the Oxford Journals (324). May infers that in “The Jungle Husband”, Evelyn must have been a middle class wife, at home sitting in a very tidy sitting room, knitting, or perhaps sipping tea with a friend. (332). From my interpretation, I believe that Evelyn most likely had lived in a somewhat sheltered, closeted environment, which gives her hardly any conception of her husband 's daily experiences-for she has never worked outside the home....   [tags: Marriage, Husband, Wife, Poetry]

Strong Essays
1331 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on Looking at Letters and Other Worlds and To a Sad Daughter

- Looking at Letters and Other Worlds and To a Sad Daughter Poetry is a genre of great influence, of free flowing ideas, political statements, and a wide range of authors. Because the genre is so broad, it increases the possibility for an overlap of information, or in other words, intertextuality. Taking this into account when examining two poems by the same author it would be nearly impossible not to make connections between the two works, and to find the common ground between them. The two poems “Letters and Other Worlds” and “To a Sad Daughter” (Michael Ondaatje, reprinted in Richard Ellmann and Robert O’Clair....   [tags: Poem Poetry Poetic Papers]

Strong Essays
2696 words (7.7 pages)

The Odyssey Essays

- “The Odyssey” is an epic poem that is about the story of Odysseus and the story of his many travels and adventures. The Odyssey tells the main character’s tale of his journey home to the island of Ithaca after spending ten years fighting in the Trojan War, and his adventures when he returns home and he is reunited with his family and close friends. To find the theme and central meaning of the story, the reader will need to examine the story and its characters, relationships, major events, symbols and motifs, literary devices, and tone....   [tags: poem, greek mythology, journey]

Strong Essays
1241 words (3.5 pages)

Poem Analysis : ' Forgiving My Father ' Essay example

- Roseline Conteh Professor Hoeflinger ENWR-106 14 October 2015 Essay 2 Holding onto grudges for a long period of time can sometimes make a person forget that there are some things you have to let go. Forgiveness is the understanding of situations and realizing that they may not be as serious as it was thought to be before. Just from the title of the poem, Forgiving My Father, it could be perceived as a poem that focuses on forgiveness, yet it’s main focus is on the negative qualities of Clifton 's father, who appears to have been a poor patriarch to both his wife and daughter through his own irresponsibility....   [tags: Family, Mother, Forgiveness, Father]

Strong Essays
1485 words (4.2 pages)

The Problem Of The Husband Now Face Essay

- The problem the husband now face was one he created all his own. When trying to break down another person’s wall and getting them to really open up, the first person must handle it delicately and not give them reason to reinforce their walls. This is the husband’s misstep for, “he acts instinctually; he fails to understand that she cannot do the same, because he is not think of these things; he only lives by them” (Oster 196). He allows for his own ideas of grieving, or lack thereof, to enter into the equation and be added to the miscommunication that is already occurring, by stating: I do think, though, you overdo it a little....   [tags: Marriage, Thought, Husband, The Wall]

Strong Essays
2012 words (5.7 pages)

Cholly as the Father that Was Not There in The Bluest Eye Essay

- "Father of mine, tell me where have you been. You know I just closed my eyes, and my whole world disappeared." These are words sung by the singer Art Alexakis of the band Everclear. Alexakis grows up and experiences life without a father to guide him. Although Alexakis becomes a successful musician, he lives his life with a void left by his father. Toni Morrison presents an extreme view of life without a father in The Bluest Eye. His incapability of showing love and feeling are shown through his interaction with those closest to him: his wife and children....   [tags: The Bluest Eye Essays]

Free Essays
928 words (2.7 pages)