For Dad

It’s Father’s Day, that one day out of 365, usually observed on a third Sunday of June in over 111 countries and it’s quite a thing, so says the internet.

I sent a great deal of virtual love to my dad like I do everyday 😄 but the day being Father’s Day and all, I would like to re-blog a poem I wrote for him nine years ago. The poetic style, my punctuation etc etc makes me cringe but the sentiment remains the same. Those were the days of Skype.

Skypeing; is there even such a word? I thought it was a word then 😂

Skypeing with my father (July, 2012)

All conversations aren’t worded,

When I Skype with my father.

We are just comfortable in our own silences,

While he catches a game on the TV,

Knowing I’m at the other end of the line.

As I punch out my assignments,

He hears a furious click click click,

Sometimes a monosyllabic grunt

Acknowledging each other,

While he’ll pose a random query

And I give a delayed answer.

But there is no hurry,

As he watches men rush behind a ball

And After a while I say,

“Dad, I’ve got to go, will talk tomorrow”

Or perhaps share another comfortable silence

Then again, all parents aren’t cut in the same cloth. Here is a brilliant poem by Sylvia Plath (possibly) about her father. I have always wanted to write a poem analysis for this but I will simply share the poem link for now. Plath’s lyricism and poetic style are an absolute treat.

Edit: I had to rewrite some of this post given that I recently learned about a home maker poet in India whose poem about the Ganges went viral and became extremely politicized by the various political factions in the country, divided along religious and party lines. I felt , poets get subsumed into controversy not because of the poem itself but due to the mood of the populace using the words either as anthem or a rallying cry to rabble rousing. I think Plath’s poem is similarly powerful and of an event that is now public memory. I admire her for writing her mind in this, although I have come to suspect that writing ones mind isn’t without it’s inherent drawbacks, as it proved to be for the Indian poet, harassed and trolled that she was all over Indian social media.

Daddy
BY SYLVIA PLATH (excerpts)

Stanza 1
You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.


Stanzas 5,6
Says there are a dozen or two.
So I never could tell where you
Put your foot, your root,
I never could talk to you.
The tongue stuck in my jaw.

It stuck in a barb wire snare.
Ich, ich, ich, ich,
I could hardly speak.
I thought every German was you.
And the language obscene

Stanza 12

Bit my pretty red heart in two.
I was ten when they buried you.
At twenty I tried to die
And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do.

I think Plath is simply brilliant in this poem. Do read it in it's entirety at:https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/48999/daddy-56d22aafa45b2

Edit: The poem is too long to reproduce on this blog and has some strong language and disturbing imagery; I've added a link to Plath's recitation of it, below.

Andrew Spacey has analysed it quite nicely at:https://owlcation.com/humanities/Analysis-of-Poem-Daddy-by-Sylvia-Plath

I’m listing some other resources for my own reading further on:

Analysis:https://www.modernamericanpoetry.org/poem/daddy?page=1

Analysis:https://poemanalysis.com/sylvia-plath/daddy/

Listen to Plath recite the poem: