LITTLE BOY CRYING_ MERVYN MORRIS “Little Boy Crying” is a poignant poem by Mervyn Morris where he raises/develops key ideas about parenting and the. Through the poem, Morris narrates the agony of a father who resists the urge to apologize to his son for disciplining him. Through the poem he illustrates the difficulty of punishing a child even though it is for the greater good of them. In the poem “Little Boy Crying”, Morris employs evocative diction, a pensive tone, and structure and form to convey both remorse and love involved in the act of disciplining. Morris’ use of powerful language in the phrase “laughter metamorphosed” vividly expresses the changes the three year old underwent after receiving the slap. The word “metamorphosed,” gives life to the way the child's laugh escalated into “howling”, the rapidity of the change of the boy’s facial expression creates a very potent image of the emotions of shock, and betrayal the boy is feeling. Powerful imagery of water is seen in the phrase “swimming tears, splashing your bare feet,” where sibilance and personification of the tears have been used to invoke a more dramatic sense of the boy’s misery. The phrase “quick slap stuck,” creates a more sped up and violent interpretation of the happenings; and the use of onomatopoeia in “slap,” creates a more graphic scene. Both are suffering through the ordeal of punishment: the father who has a "fierce" love for his son and the son who is suffering because of the slap. Morris illustrates the twinge of guilt and regret coursing through the father through the use of a pensive tone. He uses the phrase “longs to lift you, curb your sadness.” The contrast of emotions the farther feels for slapping his son along with the need to discipline him adds to the poignancy of the poem. The alliteration of “l” emphasizes his longing to pacify his child however the father stays strong to ensure his son is raised with the correct values. The phrase “you cannot understand” demonstrates that the child does not acknowledge the fact that his father is teaching him a lesson. The line “The hurt your easy tears can scald him with” sums up how the boy does not realize the pain his display of sadness causes his father, who obviously takes no pleasure in making his son cry. Morris alludes to the language of fairy tales to describe the only way that a three-year-old boy could see or understand his father's actions thus evoking powerful imagery of hatred as well as revenge. The phrase “that grim giant” is a metaphor for the boy’s father. It shows how the boy feels towards his father. We see what the child feels of the father’s actions, seeing him as an “ogre” “towering above him”, and referring to the father as “that” “grim giant” and here as apposed to using “the “grim giant” and the use of the demonstrative pronoun “that”, distances the child from the father. Alliteration is used to give the image menacing figures. The alliteration is used to emphasize the strong feelings the child feels. The harsh “G” sounds give it a bitter tone - full of hate. The father refers to himself as “The ogre,” “grim giant,” and “colossal cruel,” and here the use of alliteration of “g” in “grim giant” and “c” in “colossal cruel,” places emphasis on the phrases to describe the pure hatred the father thinks the boy must feel against him, signifying that he knows he is being mean and understands his decisions were harsh. This reference to a well-known fairytale increases the reader’s ability to relate to the situation and creates a more vivid scenario. The form and structure of the poem add to …. The title, “Little Boy Crying,” immediately provokes a sad image of what is forthcoming in the poem, creating an instantaneous dramatic effect. The poem is written from the voice of the father; however, it changes perspective several times. In the first stanza, the father is observing the reaction of his son. In the second stanza, the father attempts to view the situation from his son’s point of view. In the third stanza a third-person view responds to the happenings, explaining the father’s feelings. The last stanza, a standalone line, “you must not make a plaything of rain” brings to light the cause of the punishment and implies the little boy has been playing in the rain. This line has several meanings such as the misuse of tears or on another level, it could be the father instructing himself to take his lessons more seriously and his need stay firm to show discipline. In conclusion Morris explores the child and father’s relationship dwelling on the feelings of the father and the perceived responses of the child to the punishment. The poem on one level narrates the deep love of a father for his child and his effort to teach him a valuable lesson through discipline. A deeper message that is conveyed though the poem is the appreciation of the love and sacrifice that parents make and the gratitude we owe them for the life lessons taught to us.