Elegy for My Father's Father

Born in 1926, James K baxter became one of New zealand's finest poets and most controversial figure. His poem "ELegy for my father's father" is unique in its genre as the poem is written in one whole stanza The content of the whole poem can be resumed in the title itself "ELegy for my father's father;" 'Elegy' meaning lament and at the the same time, praising; as the poetic persona is expressing sorrow in the poem as well as praising his father's father. The main themes of the poem are the theme of death and of remembrance of the past. The theme of death is present as the poetic persona is talking about the burial of his grand father, where the family members were finding it difficult to mourn for his death as they were all "mourning in thier own fashion." The theme of remembrance of the past is present as the poetic persona talks about how his grand father was and he also remembers his childhood. All along the single stanza, the poetic persona keeps praising his father's father, and praises also the strenght and endurance of his father's father. The poetic persona also gives a rather remarkable physical description of his grand father. Through all these praises towards his father's father, we can see the theme of nostalgia present in the poem. Several symbols of nature are present in the poem. Through these elements of nature, we can depict the seasons,; which represent the cycle of life, and the symbols of nature also shows the poetic persona's father's father keen awareness of the cycle of life which enables him to be 'unafraid' of death.