My Father Calls Me Everyday Sunday Morning Analysis

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In her poem “My Father Calls Me Every Sunday Morning,” Jan Heller Levi’s bitter wording contrasts with her tranquil images to evoke an ambivalent tone towards her father. This juxtaposition mirrors the conflict in Levi’s relationship with her stern father; there is genuine love in it, but also frustration over its price. Levi’s brewing aggravation regarding her father’s selfish nature is captured by her acrimonious choice of diction. While waiting for her father’s phone call, Levi’s opinion of her dad is made clear. She can feel him “punch”(8) the numbers into his phone, each note “Pulsing;/ through 200 miles of tense wire”(10-11) hurling towards her. This is more than a mere phone call, it is "her father's idea of fatherhood" (11-12) which causes her extreme discomfort. She then describes her predictable conversation with her father who lives in…show more content…
Over the years Levi has “learned one trick”(22) that allows her to hear her father’s “gorgeous”(27) laugh despite it “mak[ing] her sound like a fool”(25). Every time she is rewarded with his laugh, Levi can feel it “start from somewhere/deep in his chest”(29-30) and picture “a man/ striding through deep woods,/swinging his arms in the wintergreen air”(31-33). Levi is euphoric just from imagining her father’s chuckle, confessing “she love[s] him so madly”(36). She then goes on to compare her love to a “tree loves the man who comes to fell her”(36-37). The violence associated with chopping a tree down symbolizes Levi’s frustrations yet the tree still loves the man and Levi still loves her father. Overall, Jan Heller Levi’s “My Father Calls Me Every Sunday Morning,” evokes an ambivalent tone through her bitter diction, which contrasts the tranquil images. This juxtaposition mirrors the conflict in Levi’s relationship with her stern father; there is genuine love in it, but also frustration over its
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