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To a daughter leaving home
To a daughter leaving home
To a daughter leaving home
To a daughter leaving home
To a daughter leaving home
To a daughter leaving home
To a daughter leaving home
To a daughter leaving home
To a daughter leaving home
To a daughter leaving home
To a daughter leaving home
To a daughter leaving home
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To a daughter leaving home

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  • 1. “To a Daughter Leaving Home” By Linda PastanMegan GriesserMs. KramerAP English 4, Period 5March 15, 2012
  • 2. “When I taught you sprinted to catch up,at eight to ride while you grewa bicycle, loping along smaller, more breakablebeside you with distance,as you wobbled away pumping, pumpingon two round wheels, for your life, screamingmy own mouth rounding with laughterin surprise when you pulled the hair flappingahead down the curved behind you like apath of the park, handkerchief wavingI kept waiting goodbye.”for the thud -Linda Pastanof your crash as I
  • 3. Analysis Lines 1-10  speaker recalls the moment as she ran along side her daughter, teaching her to ride a bike  symbolizes how the speaker raised her the young girl, sticking by her through all the “wobbles” of life  excitement when the girl begins to ride on her own Lines 11-17  daughter rides further and further away on the bike  speaker grows more worried about her as she experiences new things in life, waiting to save her the moment something goes wrong Lines 18-24  speaker watches as daughter squeals with freedom and glee  realization that her daughter has grown up, and the speaker is not needed to help anymore
  • 4. Analysis Diction and Tone  simple words and sentences  speaker’s tone is reflective and melancholy as she remembers this pivotal moment of her daughter’s childhood  instability imagery  “wobbled” (5)  “thud” (11)  “crashed” (12)  “breakable” (15)  symbolizes the speaker’s fear for her daughter’s departure, trying to protect her from what will go wrong  symbolizes the daughter’s vulnerability as she leaves the safety of her home
  • 5. Analysis Syntax  line ends are broken; sounds similar to choking back tears as one speaks  choppy lines create a more realistic and deeper meaning  has a more emotional and dramatic effect as opposed to the poem being written in prose  abrupt endings in lines show speaker’s deep thought as she recalls this moment  also creates the natural pauses people take when telling stories of events from the past
  • 6. Analysis Emotion  Anxiety  “I kept waiting for the thud” (9-10)  “sprinted to catch up” (14)  The speaker is anxious for her daughter, as any caring parent would be  Excitement  “my own mouth rounding, in surprise” (7)  “with laughter” (20)  speaker is happy her daughter can ride on her own  Sadness  “like a handkerchief waving goodbye” (22-24)  speaker says goodbye to her daughter, sad moment  does not see a wave of a hand, but a wave of a handkerchief that is used to dry her tears
  • 7. Analysis Surprise  broken line ends create a suspense at the end of each line  “I sprinted to catch up while you grew, smaller, more breakable”  “while you grew” seems like it implies as the girl grew older, but the next line is surprise because it contradicts that idea, saying she is “smaller, more breakable”  “pumping pumping for your life, screaming with laughter”  “for your life, screaming” suggests the daughter is panicking; similar to someone running for their life screaming in horror  “with laughter” is a surprise because this positive emotion was not expected to follow a description that sounded so terrible
  • 8. Analysis Surprise (contd.)  the use of surprise expresses the speaker’s mixed feelings as her daughter grows up  as the speaker begins to say one thing, she completes her thought with a different and surprising idea  unable to sort out her emotions  mixed feelings when a child leaves
  • 9. Analysis Use of Prepositions  gradual transition of prepositions parallels the life of the young girl as she grows up  “loping along, beside you” (3-4)  the daughter rides along next to the speaker, relying on her guidance to teach her and protection to keep her safe  “when you pulled ahead” (9)  the girl now rides ahead of her mother, not too far. She beings to explore on her own  “with distance”  the girl is now further away, and the speaker realizes her daughter has mastered the task of bike riding, meaning she is now independent  “hair flapping behind you” (21-22)  the speaker is behind her daughter now, and can only see her hair as she rides off into the distance  moment of realization that her daughter has grown up and she is no longer needed
  • 10. Evaluation "Poetry should be great & unobtrusive, a thing which enters into ones soul, and does not startle it or amaze it with itself but with its subject” -Keats
  • 11. Evaluation “To a Daughter Leaving Home” fits Keats’ definition of poetry  the story enters the soul  a. the reader, along with the speaker, feels an attachment to the daughter  b. the reader sympathizes with the speaker as she watches her daughter grow up in the blink of an eye  it is unobtrusive because is does not use wordy or flashy diction to force itself upon a reader  therefore, it does not startle or amaze the reader with itself  the lines are short and simple  there are no drastic elements that aim to startle the reader and distract from the real message
  • 12. Evaluation This poem is considered great poetry because of its ability to amaze its readers with the subject at hand:  the thrill of growing up; holding mommy’s hand one moment and leaving the house the next  the tender emotions of a mother who is so proud of what her daughter has become, yet still blindsided by such a sudden departure of her little girl  poem acts as an adage that life goes by too quickly  appreciate youth and innocence, as they will end far too soon  appreciate family, as you will go your separate ways before you know it

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