My Father's Song Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 20 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of My Father's Song.
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Language

Phrases such as "actions speak louder than words" highlight the notion that to be credible language must be accompanied by corresponding behavior. Ortiz's poem underscores this point. Although the speaker opens the poem by saying that he misses his father's voice, he does not say that he misses what his father says. Rather, Ortiz emphasizes the physical qualities of voice such as "the slight catch" and "the tremble of emotion" when his father speaks. What he really misses is his father's presence, the way in which he interacted with him. By describing his memory of his father showing him the overturned furrow and placing newborn mice in his hands, Ortiz highlights behavior, not words. The link between the speaker's longing "to say things" and missing his father expresses the link between desire and creativity, for Ortiz does "say things" by the act of writing the poem.

Teaching

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This section contains 592 words
(approx. 2 pages 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.