Come Up From the Fields, Father by Walt Whitman

Summary: Come Up From the Fields, Father is short poem about a day in a families life. The day is a nice autumn day, the dad is in the fields farming and the mother is in the house doing house work when a letter from their son arrives, the letter claims the son has been shot but will alright, however the mother knows her son is dead and she cannot eat and longs to be with him.

Section One:

  • The father is called from the farm fields and the mother to the door because there is a letter from their son
  • The narrator explains the peacefulness of the village in autumn
  • The narrator says the farm is prospering very well

Section Two:

  • The narrator again says the farm is doing well and calls for the parents to come
  • The narrator says the mother is nervous, she feels there is something bad about to happen
  • The mother does not even bother to fix her hair

Section Three:

  • The envelope is opened and the first thing notices is the writing being different from their sons writing
  • The mother scans the letter very quickly because she feels something is wrong since somebody else wrote the letter
  • The mother sees the sentences in fragments; she sees the works gunshot wound , taken to hospital, soon be better

Section Four:

  • The narrator says the mother turns very white in the face, and she cannot think
  • The mother just stands in the door in the middle of a wealthy town, in her own pain

Section Five:

  • The daughter tells the mother everything is ok, because the letter says the son Pete will be OK soon
  • The narrator says the son will never be better; The son is Dead

Section Six:

  • The mother is dressed in black, she does not eat and cannot sleep
  • The mother cries in the middle of the night; she is in full mourning
  • The mother is so depressed she wants to follow her son in death

Other Notes:

  • The letter was not actually opened until later in the poem, this may have been a way to show how the devistating effects of war are felt by everyone; even the people in the peacful and prospering towns;

© 2009 copyright Come Up From The Fields, Father | Walt Whitman