Looking at Letters and Other Worlds and To a Sad Daughter Essay

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Looking at Letters and Other Worlds and To a Sad Daughter

Poetry is a genre of great influence, of free flowing ideas, political statements, and a wide range of authors. Because the genre is so broad, it increases the possibility for an overlap of information, or in other words, intertextuality. Taking this into account when examining two poems by the same author it would be nearly impossible not to make connections between the two works, and to find the common ground between them. The two poems “Letters and Other Worlds” and “To a Sad Daughter” (Michael Ondaatje, reprinted in Richard Ellmann and Robert O’Clair. The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, 2nd ed. [W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 1988} 1599-1601; 1603-1605.) are great
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Also, his letters were fragile feelings that no one could confront—not even himself. This fear that lived inside the father manifested itself through alcohol, and sometimes “he would rush into tunnels magnetized / by the white of eye trains,”(20-21). Passing out was one way for the father to deal with his “letters,” and to escape from his “town of fear” that was closing in on him.

The father’s relationship with the author’s mother had many arguments peppering their days, “and [his] mother divorced him again and again,”(19). The husband and wife seem to feed off of each other when “Once again he made the papers/ though this time my mother/ wrote a note to the editor/ corrected the report-saying he was drunk/ rather than broken hearted at the parting of friends,”(46-50). This was one of the few times the father escaped his attic of emotions and made a spectacle of himself swimming after a boat (42-43), and his wife took advantage of the situation by taking the attention away from him.

At the conclusion of the poem the tone becomes questioning, as if the poet wonders if his father will make it through to the end. “With the clarity of architects/ he would write of the row of blue flowers/ his new wife had painted…”(61-63). These lines display the father’s ability to deal with solitude positively, and almost convince the reader that he is coming out of the darkness of his thoughts. The tone takes a quick
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