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Subject poem journal
Posted by Angela
Posted on Wed Nov 4 19:23:06 1998
From IP c445-31.svdcc.fju.edu.tw  

I like the first poem "I Ask My Mother to Sing". The tone is quite sad and woebegone, but not passive. The poet expresses his feeling about his homeland and the situation of the overseas countryfolks in terms of the second generation of immigrants. So actually, his homeland is strange and unfamiliar to him. His parents' words and the songs they sing transmit all his impressions about his homeland and original culture. Although he has never been in Peking or other places else of his homeland, he still has special and delicate affection towards it. I guess that the songs his mother and grandmother sung must be the songs of his homeland. Singing the homeland's songs is the way through which they can cherish memory of their homeland and original culture, remind themselves not to forget their root, and let it exist in the mind of the new generation. The poet love to hear it sung because this is the only way that he can know more and get close to his homeland where he has never been. And song is also easier to make a person have deeper affection towards something than language. I think that the rain represents the political turmoil, so his parents had to leave homeland just like the picnickers run away in the grass. And the poet had never seen this scene before. The waterlilies is likened his homeland. Although it rains heavily, and the waterlilies fill with rain until they overturn, they never fall down but rock back then and fill with more. At last, both women have begun to cry because they felt sad that their homeland run into a predicament. However, they can't throw away their root, and have responsibility to let it grow continually, so they still sing. They are brave and strong to maintain the precious things of their homeland and original culture no matter how sad they are, and how hard it is. Their spirit is active and hopeful. I also like the second poem " Those Winter Sundays". The poet expressed his love to his father, but he didn't use any direct words to express. He must be a little boy at that time. He narrated the condition of his father's work according to his impressions of his childhood. Although he just narrated, we still can feel his love, respect and thank hidden below these words to his father at heart. I guess that his father's work must be very important and necessary to the whole society. But perhaps this work is so normal and common that most people usually neglect the importance of it and don't think it's significant. For instance, while people are staying in their warm bed in the cold winter Sunday morning, who would think that there are still some people working quietly for the welfare of the whole society? I think the answer is "Nobody". Although no one ever thanked his father, he still feels proud of his father at heart, and thinks that he is a nameless hero. However, he is shy to express his love directly, and his father seems solemn and serious. So he has never told his father his true feeling, and conceals it at heart. We can also know that his father love him very much through the action that he polished his son's shoes well. His father didn't express his love by saying words but taking action. So both of them are not good at saying love. There is a distance between them. In the last part, the poet wrote "What did I know, what did I know of love's austere and lonely offices?", I think that he felt ashamed that he couldn't understand clearly how hard his father's work is, and do anything about it for he was only a little boy at that time. He repeated the same word twice because he wanted to strengthen his tone.

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