Essay on Arbor For Butch

Submitted By oliviacollins_
Words: 667
Pages: 3

Olivia Collins
Dr. Harvey
English 232 -15
November 4, 2014
Arbor for Butch “Arbor for Butch” is arguably the most moving poem Terrance Hayes has ever written. Hayes refers to this poem as “draining” because of its depth and seriousness. This poem is a rumination of the narrators experience and a deep examination of the tensions, possibilities, and coats of a difficult situation, meeting his biological father for the first time. Hayes’ biological dad, Butch, was not a father figure in Hayes’ life and he expresses many emotions throughout this poem dealing with their first gathering. The style of this poem is called Pecha Kucha, which is presented in a way where Terrance Hayes sets up twenty different images throughout the poem to makes readers feel an emotional energy in his lines. Presenting “Arbor for Butch,” in this style helps readers feel the intensity of this poem and proves to make this poem the most moving in Hayes’ collection. Throughout his life leading up to his first time meeting his biological father, Hayes questioned his mother, searched through records, and researched for any information he could find of his mother and fathers brief relationship. Hayes found a picture of his mother and father that seemed to be them drunk at a bar, and he thinks this is the night he was conceived. He eventually asked his mother about the picture and she admitted that that was in fact Hayes biological father Butch and that she had been raped by him the night that picture was taken. That bit of information infuriated Hayes and made him feel bitter towards his father. The setting of this poem is at a “shit motel”(Hayes) and Hayes is there with his new born son and his biological father, Butch. Hayes sets the tone of the poem in the first line when he says “I am with my newborn son and the man blood says is my father”(Hayes). This line gives us an idea of how Hayes feels about this situation. By saying “the man blood says is my father,” Hayes lets the reader know that he does not call this man his father and only DNA links them together. Hayes’ recollection of meeting his biological father is remembered very clearly. Throughout this poem he lets readers know that he has anger built up towards his biological father. At one point he says “the plan was when I saw him to cut off his hands”(Hayes). Hayes has a hard time dealing with the fact that he is facing the man that raped his mother. It is tough for Hayes to understand how his mother could want him if she was raped