Roethke and Plath
1) Look closely at the rhythm of the poem. Is it regular throughout the poem?
What does it "sound" like to you? What is the effect of this rhythm
on the poem?
2) Vocabulary: What is the meaning of "countenance" (line 7)? What does that choice of word add to the poem? How does it help us see the mother?
1) What details does Roethke use to help characterize his father?
2) How does the speaker's choice of words reveal his feelings about his father?
3) How does the title clue us into the feelings of the speaker?
1) What kind of images does Plath use to describe her father?
2) How are the different ways that Plath points to her father's German heritage? Where in the poem does she stop using them?
3) What phrase leads us to think of the other man in Plath's life?
4) Why kind of rhyme and rhythm does Plath use in the poem? How does that contribute to the feeling?