My Father's Love Letters

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The Poem "My Father's Love Letters" is written by Yusef Komunyakaa. It is written from the point of view of a child who is writing a letter to his runaway mother on behalf of his illiterate, abusive father. Komunyakaa uses plenty of strong images and power words. There is no rhyme scheme. However, each line's first word starts with a capital letter which signifies how the father is "Lost between sentences…"; the droughts between each thought is symbolized by each line structured as a completely new sentence, even if the sentence before or after connects in meaning. We see lines fall into one another and connect in meaning consistently throughout the poem. This style of writing builds anticipation and grabs the readers intellect. For example, lines 5-7 leaves the reader asking themselves "beg her for what?" and then "promised to never what?". It is an intriguing way of structuring the poem. "He'd beg her Returned & promised to never Beat her again" The story between the abusive husband and runaway wife in the poem is seen through the eyes and heard through the voice of their child. By writing the poem through the point of view of the child, you, as the reader, feel yourself caught in between the broken relationship in the same way the child is. This brings a different, yet genius, dimension to the poem. I think it's tough to read about tragedies like failed and abusive marriages, but describing them though the emotions of a child who is caught in between makes the reader feel both sides of the relationship. On the outside it is nothing short of brutal, yet on the inside there is some love and tenderness displayed. Also, by writing the poem through the point of view of the child, who is writing for his father, you get the emotions and thoughts of both of them and the reactions of the child to his fathers emotions and thoughts. Genius writing by Komunyakaa. This
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