1.) Pastan, Linda. "To a Daughter Leaving Home." The Norton Introduction to Poetry. J. Paul Hunter, Alison Booth, and Kelly J. Mays. 9th edition. New York: Norton, 2007. 99.
The poem can be viewed here:
2.) This poem is about a child becoming independent from parents. the speaker describes the very common childhood act of learning to ride a bicycle. She uses imagery to bring the reader back to childhood and remember the sheer independence one felt upon being able to ride a bicycle. This poem is about growing up, learnig to spread one's wings and do things by oneself.
3.) I greatly enjoyed reading this poem because of the joy it brought me. I found the authors use of extended metaphor very powerful. When I was reading this poem, I saw the act of riding a bicycle of the first taste of freedom a child gets; in turn being about the freedom one recieves when one is grown. I feel the author chose to use such a "younger" activity because most parents still view their children as innocent and vulnerable as they were when they were five or six; no parent ever really visualises their child as an adult, always their baby. I because very emotionally involved while i read this poem. I loved that it brought back all memories of my childhood, attempting to ride a two wheeled bicycle before anyone else; feeling the sun on my face, the hum of the summer animals, the sweet taste of vistory when I finally achieved my goal. I also loved how it reminded me of where I was at the time; I had such a vivid image in my mind of how my mom was laughing and smiling at my happiness, and all the other parents and children hanging around the neighborhood. This poem also made me think about the future. One day, my niece will learn this independence, and I hoped that she will have nothing but fond, vivid memories like I have. Even though the speaker seems sad about letting her daughter grow up, the speaker accepts and allows this change to occur. Both the speaker and the daughyter are coming to a new place in their lives, and I love how this poem represents that.
4.) I feel this poem can be compared to William Shakespeare's sonnet "Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore"* because they are both different interpretations of the inevitability of time. While Pastan's poem gives a happy feeling, accepting that time comes and that changes must occur, Shakespeare's poem handle's these changes with a much different approach. Shakespeare's speaker is not happy about the effects of time and has difficulty accepting it. Pastan uses happy imagery and accepts that change must occur. These two poem have different approaches to dealing with time. I feeling that Pastan deals with her pain by finding joy in the past, and Shakespeare deals with his pain by using more pain; both of these poem show two different ways to deal. I feel that since the first poem was written by a womna, and the second poem was written by a man, the poem reflect the different ways in which males and females deal with emotions.
* Shakespeare, William. "Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore." The Norton Introduction to Poetry. J. Paul Hunter, Alison Booth, and Kelly J. Mays. 9th edition. New York: Norton, 2007. 215
Saturday, March 1, 2008
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A friend of mine is taking a Women's Lit class at MCC, and she actually mentioned reading this poem to me. It's so relevent to so many of us right now, seeing as everyone on here has either just left home or is in the process of doing it. I'll agree with you that the metaphore is great--and I loved the imagry in the last couple of lines. "like a handkercheif waving goodbye." Brilliant!
I really enjoyed this poem, since it kind of reminded me of my mother and me. She was so entirely worried about me learning how to ride a bike (even though she believes everyone should know how to) and that worrying and anxiousness was transfered to me leaving for college over the years. I really liked the image in the last few lines of her hair waving goodbye like a handkerchief and thought that it was pretty appropriate for the author to add in a line about how the daughter gets more breakable the farther she gets, since her mother can no longer protect her.
"I loved that it brought back all memories of my childhood, attempting to ride a two wheeled bicycle before anyone else; feeling the sun on my face, the hum of the summer animals, the sweet taste of vistory when I finally achieved my goal."-
I love your interpretation of the poem as a comparision to your experiences. Your description in itself is poetic and perhaps lends more to the emotion of the child instead of the speaker as a mother watching your child grow up. It was a nice reply to such a sincerely honest piece.
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