Elegy for my father’s father By James K Baxter – NZ poet What is the poem about

Elegy for my father’s father
By James K Baxter – NZ poet
What is the poem about?
• It is about family, or the lack of it
• It is about a one stanza poem about sorrow and sadness
• It’s written by a man who hardly knew his bitter grandfather
How is there a lack of family?
• It starts off by telling us that the grandfather died emotionally detached from everyone around him
• “O for all the tall tower broken memorial denied” shows they had little to remember him by
• “And the unchanging cairn that pipes could set ablaze an aaronsrod and blossom” shows that the family had little respect as he didn’t have a tombstone but rather only a couple of rocks on top of his grave.
• The disrespect and lack of family is exemplified by nature, and the flowers won’t even grow by his grave.
• “A chain of sods in a day he could slice and build high as the head of a man” shows that the grandfather was a workaholic, detached from his family and always at “work”. The speaker hardly knew him because he was never around.
How is there sorrow and sadness?