|Keywords||Alcoholism, Disability, Family Relationships, Father-Daughter Relationship, Grief, Illness and the Family, Love, Suffering|
This is a poem of acceptance and personal strength. The narrator has given up the effort to NOT be like her father, a self-pitying, "defeated" failure. She accepts him, she becomes him, she is transformed: "I /myself, he, I shined." She understands that fate planted her, like a tulip bulb, in that family, and she is now "sure of [her]rightful place."
This is one of a number of poems in which Olds describes coming to terms with a father’s alcoholism, and with a troubled family life (see for example, in this database Late Poem to My Father, Of All the Dead That Have Come to Me, This Once).
|Source||The Dead and the Living|
|Place Published||New York|
|Annotated by||Aull, Felice|
|Date of Entry||02/09/94|