Elegy for My Father, Who Is Not Dead

Right from the title, the poem dramatizes the somber mood of a son who is mourning the death of his father despite the fact that it has not yet happened. The first couple of lines depict a language resembling a conversational style. This invokes a feeling of familiarity as the reader listens to Hudgins describe his father as elderly and ready to die. In the first line, the speaker presents to the reader the fact that he will not be with father at his death but will receive an unceremonious though shocking news of his demise. In the last four lines, he employs imagery as a skill and imparts on the mind of the reader how it will be when he reunites with his father in heaven and narrates how his father will wave and shout to him “welcome back” (Hudgins, 88).

The immediate conflict depicted by the poet is that of separation and difference in understanding of life after death. The difference in ideology is effectively juxtaposed. On separation, it is clear that the speaker will miss his father after the old man’s death. This is eminent from the title as lamentation is the most prominent emotion. The author more than once employs the use of long lines truncated into short sentences, an implication of shortness of breath as seen from the tenth to the fiftieth line. He also presents to the reader how different his understanding of life after death is form that of his father and as he describes their reunion from the eleventh to the thirteenth line, he seems to disagree and says “I don’t think he is right” (Hudgins, 89). In the last line, the reader is again narrated to the reunion; the invitation of the son by the father is an indication of an ideological separation of which in the end the father reintroduces the son to the fold and Christian family. In the end, the conflicts of separation both physical and ideological are resolved.

Given the understanding that the reader has on the poet, there is an implication that the speaker is talking about his actual father who in real life happens to be a member of the United States Air Force. The poem is also typical of the poet’s religious life since biblical imagery, language and character is seen in this and other poems. The poem, therefore, portrays the relationship that the writer has with his father and his faith. It is also clearly displayed that the writer is not only motivated by fear but also admiration and sadness and these emotions are presented with the reader as the audience (Hudgins, 89). The most obvious characters in the poem are the writer and his father, but on a careful examination, the reader notices the speaker mentions that he will be informed about his father’s death on the telephone, the messenger of death in the first two lines is therefore another character in the poem. On the twelfth line, the author talks about his birth and narrate to the reader how his father wrapped his arms around him when he arrived. There is no mentioning of his mother but instead it is implied (Hudgins, 88).

The poem depicts a funeral mood but the writer has a twist in that the person he is talking about, his father, is not dead yet. However, he still shares with the reader the secret dread he has on hearing the news of his father’s death. The notion of separation is also portrayed but as the writer finishes, he is reunited with his father. It is not very clear the location, time of year or day but from the writer’s point of view, he is on earth and so is his father.

The poem has twenty-one lines in total which are quite short; it is also worth noting that it doesn’t have the standard rhythms, tarcets, a quatrain with lines repeating at the end of other tarcets and at the end of the final quatrain, it is therefore a free verse without a regular meter.

The choice of words used in the poem is formal, not only is it accurate and appropriate for the context but is also easily understood by the reader greatly reducing chances of misinterpretation of the message. The diction of the speaker has effectively conveyed his mood to the reader and in a way, influenced the attitude. The author also exploits the use of parts of speech in a number of instances including pronoun. For example, the author uses idiom in his work in reference to his father. That is; the author states his ship’s gone down, preposition for example I see myself on deck (Hudgins, 88).

This poem would best be suited under the category of pathos, as stated earlier; the speaker is lamenting the death of his father which has not yet occurred and in that sense, he appeals to the emotion of the audience. The most profound rhetorical device right from the title is elegy.

Close analysis reveal that the speaker is in a somber mood. Alliteration as a sonic device has been used in the last line “Waving, shouting Welcome back” (Hudgins, 89). The second and the third word in the last line also form a cacophony. Line nineteen and eighteen also end with the same words hence a rhyme. The second last and last line also end with words that have the same sound at the end hence a consonance.

Get a 10 % discount on an order above $ 100
Use the following coupon code :