Compare/Contrast Essay From about the age of 6 I started sports, from soccer to baseball to basketball to football to lacrosse to wrestling, I have never enjoyed going to the practices and games. My dad played sports as a kid and he was very serious about sports and going to all the practices and games. He always tells me to this day, “A commitment is a commitment.” I would argue with him for hours about this. He finally said one day that he has given up on me and will not argue with me anymore. One day I realized that I actually loved sports and I loved the practices and the games and playing that specific sport. From not actually playing that sport I missed it. From that day to today I have played sports, but because I was not forced and stressed into doing so. In both poems “The Centaur” by Mary Swenson and “My Father’s Love Letters” by Yusef Komunyakaa the parents are threatening towards their children. Because they choose not to let there children do what they want, their childhood memories towards their parents will be negative. When you have a bad role model during your childhood it could affect how you grow into an adult and live the rest of your life. In both poems, the parents are portrayed as petrifying and threatening people. Due to this, their children have a negative attitude towards their parents.
In the poem “My Father’s Love Letters”, the father is being portrayed as a threatening person towards his son. In the poem the son feels obligated through guiltiness to write his father’s letters to his mother because the father is illiterate. When the son is forced to write his mom letters he has to take in all of that pain of hearing his father try and convince his mother to come back. But by doing this he also learns that when he was younger, his father beat his mother and this is why she left. The son says in the poem “He would beg, promising to never beat her again”. It is difficult for a child not to have a mother to comfort them during their childhood, and it is made even worse by having to hear the reasons why his mother left. Not only does he hear the reasons, but also he has to write them everyday! Another part in the poem when you can see that the father is threatening is when his son says, “words rolled from under the pressure of my ballpoint”. This shows how threatened he felt to write the letter to his mom. When realizing that his mom was in a better place now, he soon realizes his mom should not come back. The son realizes that his mother would have the same pain that she escaped from if she were to return.
Just as the father in “My Father’s Love Letters” is not a welcoming dad, so is the mother in “The Centaur” towards her daughter. Throughout the poem, “The Centaur” by May Swenson, the