A Thematic Analysis Of Richard Blanco's Poem 'Shaving'

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Poetry The Poem “Shaving” by Richard Blanco shows how the event of shaving causes the speaker to think about the finer details of his life, and the short but now meaningful memories he has of his father, as well as the the impact that miniscule and unseen processes have on the world. The first stanza of the poem demonstrates to the reader the thought process of the narrator whilst he shaves. The first 5 lines set a precedent for the underlying narrative of a “silent labor” that blossoms into something substantial. This epiphany of a slow, continuous effort having a substantial outcome is supported by other examples of this phenomena stated in lines 4-9; examples of this being “ocean steam rising to form clouds”(line 4), or “the fall of fresh …show more content…

The phrase “remember him in a masquerade of foam” shows how the memory of the father is not seen clearly by the speaker, but the main idea of the thought is still present in his mind. This is similar to the “creations of silent labor” seen in the first stanza. This troubles the narrator, that despite how influential his father’s life was, it went unnoticed and underappreciated. In the next few lines, the narrator divulges that his father had never taught him how to shave. This is an important bonding experience between a father and his son where the father must acknowledge his son as a man, progressing their relationship in a very different direction as before. The absence of this moment of bonding further estranged the father from being any more than a silent force. Just before this, the speaker calls the shaved whiskers, “dead pieces of the self from the face that never taught me how to shave.” The use of the word “dead” creates a feeling of betrayal from the son towards his father, spiteful at how distant his father was from him. The memories he had of his father just “swirling down the drain”, not fighting against the current, struggling to hold on to those recollections, merely watching them slip by not to be recalled again. The last

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