When looking at poetry it is easy to look at the structure of the poem for a better understanding. Many poets use rhyme, meter, and other forms of structure when configuring their poems. Some other poets use free verse. Free verse is when you don’t consider rhyme or meter into your work, instead it’s thoughts put together making a poem. Some of the poems that I will be looking at today do in fact use rhyme in most all of the verses. In both of the works I’m going to look at rhyme is clearly apparent.
Most if not all of the lines in the two poems ends in continuing rhyme. The two poems I will be talking about are, My Papa’s Waltz and The Mother. Both of the poems have the same underlying theme, love. My Papa Waltz is a poem dealing with a daughters love for her father. The poem is told from the daughter’s voice. She shows how much love she has for her father even though he isn’t a perfect person. “The whiskey on your breath Could make a small boy dizzy But I hung on like death: Such waltzing was not easy. (451)
This is the opening stanza to the poem. The poet is telling you that this father is dancing with his child but that he is so drunk; you can actually smell the booze on him. The line referring to the small boy makes you truly think and almost smell the booze for yourself. It makes you realize just how much a child can see and understand at a young age. The reference to holding on like death makes you almost think that this was a fast paced dance that she could barely handle. This line however makes you really appreciate the poetic means to these words.
The word death so often is seen as negative and sad, but in this sense it means almost hanging on for joy or accomplishment. Although it wasn’t an easy thing to do this child did it and loved every second of it. This poem throughout has a way of drawing you to the story that is told. You are happy for this child because she is shown as loving it, but at the same time you see so many negatives. You are shown love from a happy sense of spending time with a father, but you are shown all the bad things about a man who drinks, and works manual labor.
The line referring to his hands caked with dirt shows you that he must have to work outside and the drinking is probably to relax after a hard day of work. This would also show the love he has for his daughter if he dances with her even though he has worked all day and is probably tired. The constant rhyming words every other line makes you follow the story easier. You hear the rhyme and it almost keeps the poem going in a metrical sense. It has a nice sound to it because it flows so nicely. The second poem that I’m looking at is The Mother.
This poem is very different from the last poem because this poem deals with love for an unborn child. This is a totally different kind of love, it’s love that you can’t describe because you choose your own fate and the reason that you are sad is because you made the decision to have an abortion. This poem goes into detail describing how much pain it is to have an abortion. You are giving up a child that you never actually had or new. The style that the poem is written in is very common. Each line rhymes with the line directly before it.
There are however, a few lines that are thrown into the poem that don’t rhyme directly but are there for the meaning that they bring. Each stanza is very different from the previous stanza. Each stanza has lines that have all different syllable counts in them. This poem would be considered a traditional style of poetry. The poet makes you almost feel bad about the fate that she has chosen for this child. Each line shows another way that this child is suffering because of the choice that was made for it.
In these lines you see that the author wants you to think of all those things a child brings to ones life, and then realize that it’s not happening because of the abortion. “You were born, you had body, you died. It is just that you never giggled or planned or cried. ” These lines show you that this person is realizing that when you make a child it is alive inside of you, just because it hasn’t entered our world doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a life. The second line really makes you think if a child is truly “born” when it giggles or cries, or if it is born during conception.
This poem is a great poem that shows the love for a child that was unable to live a life in our world. In looking at both of these poems you can see that love is shown in each. The first poem deals with love on a human level, a small child’s love for their father. The second poem deals with love for an unborn child. In both of these the author use rhyme to draw you into the poem. The rhyme at the ends of the lines makes you continue to want to read the poem. Each of these poems does a great job of showing love on a more negative manner. They deal with unconditional love for someone or something.