In the poems “This Be the Verse” by Philip Larkin and “Digging” by Seam’s Haney, the authors examine the roles of parents in what their children grown into. Larkin takes a depressing and pessimistic view on raising children while Haney sees tradition as an honorable aspect to family lineage. These poems represent different extremes of Ralston children and have completely different views on the value of family. Larkin presents an extremely pessimistic view on raising children.
He lives that parents “focus up” by passing on their faults and mismanaging a child’s upbringing. This is not a one time deal, but, in fact, a cycle of “misery’ because parents are only passing on what they were taught by their parents. This generational cycle of parents messing their children’s lives up will continue as long as there continue to be offspring. Larkin uses this reasoning to make his most pessimistic statement of all, “don’t have any kids yourself”.
Larrikin solution to end he cycle of misery is to effectively end the human race. Unlike Larkin, Haney values family traits and sees the passing of traits through generations as something to be sought. Haynes tone expresses admiration for his forefathers when he says, “by God, the old man could handle a spade/Just Like his old man. ” In these lines we see how the generations are continuing a tradition that Haney approves of. He has no shovel, but he still desires to be like his forefathers and says, “I’ll dig with It,” while holding his pen.
This is a completely different viewpoint from Larrikin desire to end human life Just to stop parenting. Larkin and Haney are at odds in their two poems “This Be the Verse” and “Digging”. Each sees parenting as having a powerful effect on how their children eventually grown up. Larrikin pessimistic view is clear by his strong language and proposed solution of ending offspring. Haney impresses the value of tradition by attempting to carry in his forefather’s footsteps. These poems are on completely different extremes in terms of the value of family.