One Parent Family by John Kitching
7 February 2002


This one's a very short (eight-line) poem from a child's point of view, expressing a longing to have more than "a weekend dad". This is an interesting rhythm indeed. Right now I can't be bothered looking up the names of feet to analyse it fully. Suffice, for now, to say that the first three lines seem to be four feet long, the next two three, and the last three four.

But anyway, this is supposed to be a personal response, not a technical analysis. Of course the poem is sad; simply, almost naively so, and it is all the more poignant in its naivete. The child's situation is one he shares with hundreds, maybe thousands of other children, and yet it seems none the less tragic for that. ("Tragic" is not quite the word there, but I'm unsure of what is.)

I love simple-looking poems. In this one, I particularly like " a dad who shakes/the dust of Sunday from his feet". "mother's peeling five-day door" is also interesting.

"Sourly dumped" puzzles me somewhat. More specifically, the "sourly" does. I do not understand why the father is sour - this implies some dislike of the father on the part of the child.


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