Elegy For My Father Poem Analysis

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Diaspora is a loaded expression that evokes diverse challenging thoughts and images. This term may also be regarded as a synonym of dislocation, multiplicity, cultural conflicts, and marginalized subjects who reside on the periphery of two different lands. Sudesh Mishra delineates this notion as “dual territoriality” since the subject has to contend with conflicts which are produced as a result of a life between “hostland and homeland”. According to Mishra, “suspended between two such terrains (living without belonging in one, belonging without living in the other), diasporas are seen to represent a new species of social formation” (16). Further in his book, Mishra confers the dichotomous notion of the subject being split between two worlds,…show more content…
In this poem an association between memory and faith can be seen in the lines “memory believes” and “can knowing remember?”(16). In “Elegy For my Father”, being the oldest of the three children, Alexander is beckoned by the priests to cover her dead father’s eyes. This moment makes her think about the futility of life, “If this is the end of life,/ . . . .what use are gnanam, /dhanam, kavya?” (15). She reminisces certain poignant moments spent with her father. Being a “loudmouthed teenager”, Alexander asks her father, “Do you love me?” and gets a reply “some things need not be said”(13). It is a powerful poem highlighting a daughter’s deep love and admiration for her father who is no more. Whenever Meena Alexander feels bewildered and dislocated in her postcolonial world of experience, she finds “great solace in the lucid and frank centrality of her father’s vision of life”( Krishnakumari 126). Her father believed in leading an orderly life, and in keeping one’s emotions under firm control. Concrete and precise descriptions can be seen in Alexander’s poems, such as when she describes the “red fabric melting into metal teeth” while her mother sews a tear in her child’s shirt, in the poem “Reading Rumi as the Phone Rings”(17). In this poem the thirteenth-century Sufi poet Rumi could be heard on the phone line sharing out his words of wisdom: “The way of love/ is not a subtle argument, / Rumi sang. The door/ there is
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