Simon J. Ortiz Writing Styles in My Father's Song

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"My Father's Song" takes the shape of a simple first person childhood memory story. It is structured into five stanzas of varying length. The syntax is conversational, with the punctuation simply marking pauses and stops.

The poem is framed by the first two lines, "Wanting to say things, / I miss my father tonight," and the concluding stanza, which begins "I remember. . ." and ends with "and my father saying things." In between are memories, each stanza bringing the memory to a solid physical reality of "the soft damp sand," "the soft moist sand," and "a sand moist clod."

In the first stanza, there is the physical memory of the voice moving out of his father's "thin chest." The second stanza is the memory of the specific activity of planting corn. The memory deepens in the third stanza, with the discovery of a nest of mice. The fourth stanza focuses the...

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This section contains 174 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the My Father's Song Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
My Father's Song from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.