Litte Boy Crying

“Little boy crying" is a poem which talks about the complex emotions between a father and his three-year-old son who has just received a spanking from his father. The boy's emotions are a mixture of sadness, anger, frustration and the urge to take revenge. The poem was written in the latter part of 20th Century. The poem addresses a psychological phenomenon i.e. the internal thought process and the feelings of the child; the poem also brings out an accurate analysis of the father's contemplation behind all the sternness and severity.
The poem is written in second person and is addressed to the child; the father/adult is in the 3rd person and the narrator is the poet himself. The themes of time, paternal love, and punishment are demonstrated in the complex pattern of word choice and shifts in point of view.
In the first stanza the child's mind is full of resentment, because of the heartless and cruel behavior of his father. The lines refer to a sudden change caused by a father's strictness. These lines highlight the perplexed mind of the child, due to the sudden change, 'His laughter metamorphosed into howls' and 'your frame so recently relaxed now tight'. The child just cannot hold back his tears, which explains that his agony is intense. He is very unnerved by this unpleasant slaughter of his hopes of an ecstatic pastime. The child is perturbed by the quick slap struck" and his mind is full of spiteful feelings for his father. After this abhorrent treatment, he tries to catch a glimpse of the slightest hint of remorse or guilt in his father's eyes. He wants to make his father realize the anguish he is going through and that his father is the cause of this pain. In this stanza the poet uses enjambment (the running through of ideas from one line to another without a stop) as is evident by the fact that the whole stanza is of only one sentence. The poet uses imagery in the phrases ‘swimming tears" ‘splashing your bare feet" and in angling for a moment's hint". The...