One Man's Family Poem Analysis

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Fourteen Eyes : An Analysis of the Poem “One Man’s Family”
Paul Klee, a painter once said, “One eyes sees, the other feels.” The poem “One Man’s Family” written by Rosemary Catacalos discusses the life of the Dog Man through another’s perspective. It shows how the Dog Man, has fallen from his high place in the social hierarchy as a professor to being just a man with seven dogs. Catacalos writes about how he is lonely, what the dogs mean to him and how he is seen by the community. He has no close family or friends. His dogs are the constant in his life, they are simple and uncomplicated. A two-way road of love. Pauline, a waitress mocks him based on his appearance. This poem brings many aspects of the widely disputed conflict concerning the
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The symbolism behind “seven” is that it is the number of completeness and perfection (both physical and spiritual). Catacalo’s uses it multiple times when describing the man’s dogs. The poet writes about how the dogs “are seven faithful wives, / seven loaves, seven brothers,” (28-30). The Book of Revelation uses the word “seven” over 50 times in relation to God. In the Bible, there are Seven days of creation, Seven Seals in the Book of Revelations. The number seven is mentioned 77 times in the Old Testament. The seven primary gifts of the Holy Spirit are Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and the Fear of the Lord. There are also Seven Deadly Sins (Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride). There are seven days in a week. By using repetition she emphasizes the number. She is using a very strong subtle religious motif. In addition to this, the poem was written “in memory of Bill Gilmore.” It is because of this that one may think that this motif is one of the main themes integrated in the poem. She also uses the word “loaves” (bread) which are used in certain religious ceremonies. Catacalos also writes about what the Dog Man does on “Sundays,” which is the day when there is Church, in the religion of Christianity. This is why although the number “seven” is in other religions, one could…show more content…
The speaker states, “About how to him those seven dogs / are ... faithful wives, /... loaves, ... brothers,” (28-30). She speaks about how the dogs are truly his family in every way. Dogs symbolize unconditional love and companionship. By using the word “loaves” (bread) she saying that for the Dog Man, his dogs are his ‘staff of life’ and how they are a basic necessity to them. “But mostly about how they’re dogs. / Friends that don’t have to be anything else,” (37-38). The poet is stating that the dogs are his family, his friends, his life. This way the reader is able to relate their own emotions to the wistfulness (mood) that can be seen in this stanza because of how the speaker uses her word choice. In all, humans need trust, loyalty, friendship to thrive through though their sources may come in different forms.
“One Man’s Family” by Rosemary Catacalos discusses the many shapes and sizes of the way judgement, spirituality, and trust throughout one’s life by society today. As humans, one part of us wants to be ourselves while the other wants to be like all the other people. Individuals versus Society is the way of life as we must change ourselves, in order to fit into the time we’re in. By using repetition, symbolism and word choice Catacalos ensure that the
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