River Tanikawa

Decent Essays
When children need their mother’s help, she promises and prioritizes to be there for them. Shuntaro Tanikawa, author of the poem “River,” is a passionate poet and writer, although he despised schooling or attending college. Tanikawa’s poetic imagination revolves around western influence, but he writes his works as a search for “universal consciousness.” The “universal consciousness” emphasizes values, such as ones for money, family, or life, and Tanikawa focuses this poem with the value of relationships. Tanikawa utilizes symbolism and imagery to emphasize the significance of community bonds by comparing them with the river and the things around it. Tanikawa likens the child to a natural stream of water through the use of symbolism. The child…show more content…
The child contemplates the river’s flow as he/she personifies the body of water using the sound imagery of laughing and singing (Tanikawa ll. 2, 5). The mother’s response that the sun and the skylark influence the river by tickling and praising recreates the idea of the innocence and happiness that radiates from children generally when they are in a safe community environment, one that is mediated by the mother. The imagery indicates a mother’s impact on her children and their actions. Her actions show well-deserved respect and love for her child because she does her best to keep them happy and light-hearted, sending them into a community where they are tickled by the sun, praised by the skylark, and “loved by snow” (Tanikawa ll. 3, 6, 9). When he/she is scared or needs help, children reflect to happy thoughts, like “being once loved” (Tanikawa l. 9). Finally, a mother’s love can be seen through an emotional/visual form of imagery, where “the mother sea / is waiting for the river to come home,” emphasized not only by the words but by the weight of the extra line in the final stanza (Tanikawa ll. 15-16). A mother demonstrates sheer love for her children by always waiting for them to come home, ensuring that they are safe, and becoming a shelter in which they can finally rest. Tanikawa re-enforces value of the mother-child relationship in showing it as the final resting place of the river/child winding its way
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