A response to Camillo Sbarbaro’s poem "Even If You Weren’t My Father".

     In most societies familial relationships take an important role. Parents are responsible for loving and nurturing their children. Though not every adolescent is blessed with an excellent parent, many are. Camillo Sbarbaro explores such relationships in “Even If You Weren’t My Father” and uses nostalgic memories from his childhood and anaphora to show that his father is the best man he has ever known.

            Most of Sbarbaro’s poem consists of youthful memories, presumably from his own childhood. He uses these specific examples to display the love his father showed for the children. Sbarbaro shares two memories; one is of a winter morning where the father took time to look closely at the first violet. This helps the reader understand that he is a very interesting and observational man. Sbarbaro effectively shows that his father is not just an average person because he finds beauty in the small things. This gives the poem more detail and allows the reader a first glimpse into the father’s character.

            In his second memory, Sbarbaro recalls a time when the father chased his little sister throughout the house to punish her. However, when he caught the girl, he felt so terrible at her fear that he hugged her instead. The poet includes this memory to display his father’s kindness, love, and compassion. This is the most powerful portion because it truly convinces the reader that he cares for his children and would do anything for them.

            The writer wraps both nostalgias together in his conclusion. He began the poem with, “Father, even if you weren’t my father” and then used anaphora in his last stanza. He repeats the same statement and then makes the fervent claim that he would love his father above all other men for his “innocence” and “tender heart.” Through his detailed childhood memories and frank use of anaphora, Sbarbaro effectively explains why he loves his father more than anyone else.

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