"Before and After" essay
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The poem “In Praise of Regret” by Charlie Smith is a family poem. The poem talks about a family dinner where a group of relatives has gathered to celebrate. Smith tries to capture their mood of the small group that is having dinner. The emotions of the dinners are depicted in varied ways. He describes one woman as being in despair, probably from the frustrations that are encountered in everyday life. A male friend on the other had is recounting his frustrations without fear. This is something that people do when they are around relatives and close friends. His poem tries to capture the essences of a family setting where one is free to talk about his frustrations, fear, troubles and happiness. The author refers to the setting as a representative of their best qualities. This means that at the table, they are not only sharing a meal but their regrets, fears and frustrations. He also hints on the better days probably when they were young, and their parents kept most of the troubling issues away from their children. Smith in his poem also laments the lack of training on what to bring to a dinner table by parents. Regretting that today anything today is discussed in family gathering.
However, his poem noted that such frank conversations bring out the best in families. This means that, by sharing, families are able to help one another. His poem, therefore, imitates family lives where emotions such as courage, love, despair, rage and revelations are free expressed. In the end, those in trouble are embraced signifying understanding and implying that their troubles are shared. This poem that depicts a family dinner is a realistic account of what goes on in the lives of many families. His poem depicts where regrets, happiness, encouragement, frustrations, happiness are shared in a closely bound group.