The three poems for this week all have a common theme in family. Each of the poets deal with a different aspect of family life and the relationships that are built and affected by family. Meinke, Roethke, and Adock all focus on some form of parent-child relationship. At the same time they address an issue that is present between the two parties and how it affects the relationship that each couple has.
Throughout Peter Meinke's “(Untitled)” he speaks about a father delivering an apology to his son and trying to mend a relationship that had been destroyed. He describes the physical and emotional abuse that has been part of him and his son's relationship. The speaker is able to demonstrate this sorrow and apology through the tone that is used in the poem. He claims that the reason he abused Peter was because he was “there to be hurt and because...” he “...thought you knew you were beautiful...” The father took his anger out on his son assuming his son would understand. The reasoning behind the poem can be seen in lines 21-22, “I write this for life, for love, for you...” Through the use of an apologetic tone and descriptive language it can be seen that the speaker truly loves his son and is deeply sorry for what he has done.
Theodore Roethke's “My Papa's Waltz” is also about a father-son relationship that experiences trouble. The poem speaks about a father and a son dancing playfully at the end of the night. Even though the father is drunk the son still loves his father and continues to dance. The playfulness in the poem is evident through the form. The four stanzas give the appearance and form of the waltz, but at the same time, a waltz that is rather sloppy and not professional. By giving that appearance the poet has allowed the reader to understand the state that the father is in. Along with the form the rhyme scheme gives the structure of the dance as well.
The last poem read provides a different aspect of family life, sibling rivalry and the jealousy that occurs between siblings. While reading the poem the reader encounters the birth of a newborn daughter. As a result of that birth, the eldest daughter naturally experienced jealousy because the attention was not focused on her and her Mom was now “twice as busy” presumably with her new sister Laura. The last few lines in the poem truly show the feelings that the eldest daughter has. In lines 11-12 the daughter “watched Laura come out, and then, in reverse, she made her go back in.” This last line gives the reader the perspective that Ceri is very interested with her new sister but at the same time she is envious of the amount of attention that Laura is receiving and she is not. It appears that she wants her sister to “go back in.”
The event that I attended this week was the viewing of the film Waiting for Superman. It was a phenomenal film that followed a few families experiencing troubles in the educational system. It is such an amazing and crazy issue that is present in the world today. Today many children do not have the opportunity to experience a great or even decent education that other children of the nation can. As a education major I felt that I am in this for a reason. That I am here to make a change in the world when I become a teacher. Not only does this event relate to the Jesuit education as a whole but it relates to the three poems that were read for this week.
Relationships are built in families but they are also built outside of the family. It is clear that the relationship between certain teachers and students is not there. The film Waiting for Superman portrayed teachers that really have no desire to teach children and would rather just be sitting there and doing nothing. After seeing that movie it made me want to build a relationship with my students when I become a teacher. I want them to be able to trust me and I want to be able to trust them. That is a quality that many of the teachers in the movie did not exemplify. The children had a lack of trust and as a result they lacked the education they needed. I also do not want children to be jealous of other children. They should not be jealous like the child in “The Video”, meaning they shouldn't be jealous that other children are getting a much better education or are getting an education in general. I feel this way because all children should be a getting an education and not just going to school but getting a good education by someone who cares about them.