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The author of the poem is describing his childhood memories. The central idea of Lee’s poem is about “the tenderness” gift which he says he was given by his father and later was able to give to his wife. This paper will analyze Lee’s poem while concentrating on the poem’s central theme of ‘gift’ and give own thoughts about the poem.
The poem’s situation is when Lee is taking a splinter out of the hand of his wife. While removing a splinter from her hand, the narrator remembers when he was about 7 years and his father was removing a splinter from his palm. He recalls that his father skillfully distracted him by telling a story in a reassuring voice. After his father was done, Lee held the splinter and kissed him (the father). Lee is able to use just an ordinary moment, that of removing a splinter from his palm, to exemplify a wonderful relationship with his father. This is a common situation for many of us, but when it happens, unfortunately it happens just in ‘normal ways’ and we do not feel connected is a special way with our parents. But, this is a reminder that we should learn from ‘small scenes’ with our parents and relate them as a lifetime lesson that can greatly assist us in our individual endeavors.
In the poem Lee reveres his parents and especially his father meaning that Lee’s father may have had a great impact on his life. Lee expresses how significant his father has been in his life; “a gift.” He says that he has learned a lot from his father and this has shaped him into the person he is. Lee especially discusses the removal of a splinter from another person’s hand. He alludes the skill and tenderness of removing the splinter from his wife’s hand to lessons from his father. He showcases his gift from his father shown in stanza 3 when he watched his father remove the metal splinter from his hand. He says, “"Had you followed that boy you would have arrived here, where I bend over my wife's right hand,” (stanza 3). He says that he appreciated that moment and he was able to use the knowledge to his advantage and apply it later in his life. He says that this was a gift passed onto him by his father. Lee reveres his father’s sentiments and teachings and he says that he kept them throughout his life.
In conclusion, I will say that we should always learn from the ‘small things’ that our parents do to us and these will turn out to be lifelong lessons.