Poems: Elegy for my Father's Father (Subject/ Purpose (recognises…
Poems: Elegy for my Father's Father
recognises death is a natural part of the cycle of life.
The poet writes an Elegy – a sad, sorrowful lament - for the death of his grandfather.
The grandfather has never truly expressed his emotions to others and seems a rather gruff, cold character
– his family seem unable to express their grief at his death
as if they didn’t have a close relationship with him,
they are like him in being rather emotionally distant.
The poet also celebrates his life, presenting his strength and skill, contrasting this with his weakness in old age;
he appreciated nature, even if he couldn’t express such deep emotions
he died peacefully
Grief and celebration
Nature/ people’s lives linked to nature/ the cycle of life
Respect for skill
– the grandfather is gone, sense of reflection on his whole life.
Third person –
the speaker describes the grandfather’s life in detail – showing his knowledge of the man’s life.
He seems to know him very well as he describes the grandfather’s thoughts at the point of death.
One long stanza =
one long life from youth to age – all of these events and characteristics are a part of the grandfather’s character.
The different emotions of others to the man are also all tied together – he was both respected, and distant.
Free verse, no rhyme =
the unpredictable changes of life;
perhaps reflects the stream-of-consciousness thoughts and memories of the grandfather at his death.
Much enjambment –
same effect as free verse;
makes the poem read quickly, showing the speed of life passing, the grandfather aging.
The central metaphor, repeated – he never expressed his emotions.
Language of time - missed opportunities/ regret.
Imagery and sibilance - celebrating his power and skill.
Contrasting imagery/ juxtaposition - sympathy for his weakness in old age, or his endurance.
Natural imagery – represents the aging process, shows it’s natural. Also shows his appreciation of beauty.
Personification and imagery - his peace at the moment of death – it’s natural.
Structure: one long stanza = one long life. From youth to age.