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    Poetry comparison Essay (1130 words)

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    Poetry comparison of “boy driving his father to confession” and “praise song for my mother” In class we researched two poems. Both poems are about family relationships. I am going to refer “boy driving his father to confession “as poem 1 and “praise song for my mother” as poem 2. In poem 1, the main subject is about a boy and his father, who are clearly not close and the boy is trying to find his father’s emotions. ” Four times now, I have seen you as another man, a grown up friend, less than a father… ” the boy has seen through his father’s harsh front to his emotions, four times.

    Less than a father…” suggests that their relationship is not strong. However, in poem 2 it is a very different relationship. It gives us the impression that the daughter is mourning for her mother’s death. “You were like sunrise to me… ” the girl uses similes to reflex her mother to nature. They seem to be really close as the girl only speaks well of her mother. Poem 1 is reflective, as the boy thinks back into the past. “There was a time when my child brother dies and in the porch, among men, you cried”. The phrase “among men” shows the depth of his father’s feelings, that he was not ashamed to cried in front of men.

    The use of personal pronoun in this poem suggests that the boy is thinking about how he felt in the past. “I was shocked at your tears. ” Shows that the boy was surprised when his father got emotional. This poem is very realistic as concrete nouns are used. “In a restaurant toilet”, “… My mother’s plane took off. ” These concrete nouns show us a sense of real life in the poem because actual places and objects are used. The lexical choice of the words in this poem is realistic. “… By telling me an almost smutty story in a restaurant toilet”. This shows that the poem is related to real life, as “smutty” is unusual language for a poem.

    From this I have deduced the family or writer live an urban life style. In poem 2 however the tone is a happier tone unlike poem 1, which is very morbid. There is always an anecdotal tone. “You were like water to me”. The girl is talking and thinking in the past because the writer uses past tense. Also there is evidence of personal pronoun in this poem. “You were moon’s eye to me”. This suggests that the girl is thinking about how she felt for her mother in the past. This poem is very realistic as concrete nouns are used. “… Water to me… “the girl is comparing her mother to nature which gives us a sense of the mothers nature.

    The lexical choice of words lifts our eyes to nature as a choice of metaphor. “You were like sunrise to me”. The girl does not mean she is literally the sun, it is a metaphor. The word “sunrise” reflects the mother’s personality, that she is warm and essential to the girl’s life. This poem sounds like a eulogy as the girl is speaking in the past. The word “praise” in the title is almost church like and suggests the mother is dead. In poem 1 the rhythm clearly shows difficulty between father and boy. The writer uses assonance with short and harsh ending e. g. “died”, “cried”.

    This shows there is tension between father and boy with a bad atmosphere; both feel awkward towards each other. The syntax of this poem is broken up. There is a lot of punctuation in the poem unlike the 2nd poem, which is continuous and has no punctuation, almost story like. The syntax of poem 1 reflects that the boy feels agitated because he has had to deal with obstacles in his life, growing up and dealing with his father and there distant relationship.

    However the syntax of poem 2 reflects that there is no awkwardness between the mother and daughter. The words are soft and calming, the use of assonance creates great effect e. g. “… fathoming… mantling… streaming”. The enjambments in poem 1 empathises words such as “… among men, you cried! ” It is trying to show that the father does not show his emotions habitually. In poem 1 the imagery gives a clear picture of awkwardness. “Four times found chinks on the paternal mail. ” The word “chinks” gives us the image of the boy trying to get through his father’s armour to his emotions. The phrase “paternal mail” sounds like a military saying. From the poem we see that the father has a harsh barrier so this gives me the impression he may have been in the armed forces at some time.

    “Church” and “confession” gives us the image that his father and family have a Roman Catholic background. However in poem 2 the images given are not so dismal. “… Sunrise to me… ” gives us the image the mother was warm, bright and there for you when the clouds were grey. “Sunrise” gives us connotations of a new day, a fresh start. “Water” gives us connotations of something that is everlasting; her mother was essential for the daughter’s survival. These metaphors show us what the daughter thought of her mother. The lexical choice suggests to me that this family or the writer live and were brought up near the coast.

    In poem 1 there is a continuous stanza. This is appropriate to poem 1 as it is like a narrative, and sounds a lot like a prose. However in poem 2, it is set out as a song and relies more on syllables. Poem 1 depends on rhyming. “… My child brother dies… Among men, you cried. ” To create an effect in the poem, there are short sounding vowels e. g. “warm”, “rise”. The words echo and sound more relaxed. There is the same pattern throughout poem 2 to represent the flow of the poem. The end line in poem 2 sounds like a command. “Go to your wide futures… ” this is to empathise what the mother wants the daughter to do.

    Poem 1 is my personal favourite as I can relate to this, and I am sure many teenage boys can. Being close to your father throughout teenage years is very important, a shoulder to rest on when things go wrong, and a face to talk to when the world turns its back on you can make a difference in life. Sons are meant to fear turning into their father but truly knowing mine has made me want to be like him. If I were to write about my relationship with my father I would use the format and lexical choice as poem 2 because my relationship with my father is close and I have only good to say about him. Therefore my poem would be closer to poem 2.

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