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Praise and Resentment - a poem written by James Berry.

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Introduction

Daniel Hutt 09.12.03 Praise and Resentment This poem written by James Berry is about a person describing his father, and speaking of the negative and positive aspects about him. The poet describes the father as being of a higher status than the boys. There is a feeling of envy and resentment in the poem, as well as a feeling of praise. The main point of view is that of a small person looking at a big person, which implies that the author is dealing with the feelings of a child and putting them into a poem. It is structured into six stanzas with six lines each, and consists of no rhyming scheme. This is done specifically to illustrate the change in topic between each stanza, which makes it easier to show the different descriptions of different ideas. For example, the first stanza gives us a description of the father, and how he is "masculine" and "well curved". ...read more.

Middle

us boys feel we could kill him" So what the author has done here is spoken about positive features of the father, and then gone straight on to the negative things about him. In the second stanza, the father's pleasant laughter is undercut by the image of his control of the children. The third stanza gives the reader the impression that the father is a loving and caring man, as he is taking care of a dying cow. However, this is then undercut when we learn that all the father really does all day is sit in tall grass and "sweet-talk weak jaws". Sweets and fruits are mentioned in the first four lines of the fourth stanza, which gives the reader an enjoyable image of food and creates a pleasant atmosphere. This is contradicted when we read the last two lines and find out that the father would make the boys look up to him for fruit that was past ripe and not pleasurable to eat. ...read more.

Conclusion

The author also includes key words in nearly every stanza, such as "could kill him" in the first one, and "listen to him" in the second one. In the fourth stanza, the key words are "descend on him", in the fifth stanza "he stayed in", and in the last one, "keenly in rage". This exemplifies the use of language, which is employed to convey the key descriptions of the father in each stanza throughout the poem. Overall, the author has done a successful job at communicating his message to the reader. This is because he used imagery to give an overall impression of the father and of the setting, which helps the reader to imagine the story. The poem is clear and very descriptive, meaning that all the information necessary was conveyed either through images or language. This poem made me feel strong about the poet's feelings towards his father because he is expressing himself throughout the stanzas, personifying himself as the boys or children of the text. ...read more.

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