"The Secret Heart" is a beautiful convention of perfect love that a young boy undergo one night when he saw his father's "secret heart." The poem consists of 22 lines of rhymed couplets and the form expresses the sense of completeness the watchword felt. The nub of the poem consists of a father going to check on his sleeping child, a common occurrence.
For the child, however, the occurrence is seen in a light that is uncommon; half-awake, the tidings sees his father's love illuminated in the semi-darkness and is also able to glimpse "A heart that gave out such a shining/No give-and-take awake could bear to know" (lines 15-16).
both memory the son has of that night reflects the loving, tender feelings his father has for him: "It showed a look upon a face/ Too tender for the mean solar day to trace" (lines 17-19).
Coffin's poem depicts the unequivocal love the father and son have for each other. The boy's memory and feelings are completely positive. The daughter's feelings in Hunt's poem are not as simple. While she seems to clench great regard for her mother teaching her that life holds magnificence, her feelings toward her mother are mixed. She seems grateful that her mother attempted to instill a sense of life's beauty into her life, but somewhat bitter over the fact that her mother could not rise above her circumstances and ultimately chose (or settled for) duty over beauty.
Everything is illuminated for the son and what he sees that significant night is amplified
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