Twelth Night Essay
In “My Father’s Garden” by David Wagoner, Wagoner depicts the speaker as an older man, looking back on his childhood with admiration for his father.
From the poem the reader can infer that the speaker’s father was a poor laborer, who did everything in his will to provide for the family. Through authorial techniques such as; tone, imagery, and setting the reader can understand how the speaker viewed his father and the things the father valued in his working, and ordinary life.The setting through the poem, “My Father’s Garden” is a mix between life at the scrapyard and at home. Within the first stanza of the poem, Wagoner uses imagery to depict heat and industrial life at the scrapyard. In line six David Wagoner uses “scrapyard” which gives the reader insight not only to the setting of the stanza, but to infer that the father was a poor laborer. As the first stanza depicted heat, the second stanza conveys domestic imagery.
Through the second stanza, Wagoner uses words such as, “stoves”, “brake drums”, “sewing machines”, “gears”, and “cogwheels” to portray the poor economic stature of the family and the domestic hardships at home. Interestingly Wagoner tells the reader in line 11 about the “toy soldiers” the father would create. Not only can the reader infer that creating toys was a hobby of the speaker’s fathers, but also, a sense of heroism and admiration which relates directly to the tone of the poem. In the third stanza Wagoner intertwines the idea of heat and domestic imagery.Wagoner begins the stanza discussing how life at the scrapyard was tough and how the speaker’s father tried to keep his brain from “melting” (line 14). Wagoner continues to discuss to the “reborn of fire for better or for worse” (line 16). In line 17, Wagoner gives a list, in which depicts domestic as good, and industrial as bad. Interestingly enough the reader can infer that Wagoner was relating this section of the poem to society during his youth, which were the industrial revolution and a sense of American patriotism.
The fourth stanza begins with a tone shift and the reader now not only understand that the speaker father’s brain unfortunately “melted” (line 19), but the reader realizes that the speaker’s father was a highly educated man and all the sacrifices he made in order to provide for his family. Ending the poem, the speaker says “ripe prize vegetables” (line 24), ending the poem with a sense of domestic imagery yet tying together the theme of heroism and how the speaker’s father valued his life, even with all the sacrifices he made.David Wagoner uses authorial techniques such as; tone, imagery, and setting so the reader can understand how the speaker viewed his father and the things the father valued in his working, and ordinary life. By reading this poem the reader can understand the admiration the speaker had for his father, and that through this poem the speaker is “knighting” his father for putting his pride aside and working as hard as his did in order to keep the family together.