Eng. 1 Acc; Per. 5
The Secret Bond
In today’s society, a loving father son relationship is foreseeable. However, in the past, father son bonds could’ve been seen as distant and uncaring relationships. In the 1930’s, men were tough, brave, and manly and did not show many signs of affection. “The Secret Heart,” a poem by Robert P. Tristam Coffin, clarifies a father son relationship in the 1930's. The poem is shown through a father who has a strict relationship with his son, but at night, while he believes his son asleep, he exhibits his love for his son when he is not aware. The author uses imagery, form, and metaphors to establish the hidden love between this father and his son.
Throughout “The Secret Heart,” Coffin holds different views of the poem using imagery.
The imagery focuses on the power of the fathers’ love for his son, but emphasizes that the father hides this love since that behavior was ordinary during the 1930’s. For example “too tender for the day to trace” (18) and “His love kindled in the dark” (10). Another way to reflect about this quote would be when the father goes to his son’s room while he is asleep, his presence validates his love for his son which further supports his father’s “love is too treasurable to be seen in the day so it can only be seen at night” idea. Imagery could be argued as the most important piece of the poem, but another crucial pieces in Coffin’s poem would be the form.
The form of poems are very common and important when it comes to writing, and after reading this poem, one could truly realize how much it contributes to the poem. The Secret Heart
Scarpone 3 consists of eleven stanzas each involving one couplet. Midway through the poem, Coffin writes
“In the stillest of the night” (3).There are eleven stanzas and since eleven is the last hour of night, it could be possible that when Coffin writes, “In the stillest of the night” (3) he means eleven at night. Another way to acknowledge the form of this poem would be considering the couplets.
This poem is about a father and son relationship. Fathers and their sons depend on each other just as each couplet counts on the first or second line for it to flow. While form is an critical element,
Coffin incorporates metaphors to illuminate this unseen father son bond.
Metaphors intensify meaning to all pieces of literature. In the Secret Heart, Coffin shows different views by inserting metaphors such as “Half in dreams, he saw his sire” (5). Sire means king so this can be viewed as