As in the beginning is a poem about a man that has lost part/all of his hand in an accident. The poem is read from the perspective of a son or daughter of the man who lost his hand, and the effects of that incident. The poem also describes circumstance about the situation, like how he was compensated with money based on how much of his hand was amputated. And there is a lot of underline reading. Also an understanding of the psychological points of the poem.
The poem makes use of a lot of simile and personification, for instance, “the rest of his stay on earth like an empty stool at a beggars banquet”. This means that he no longer fills the same place he use too. An example of personification would be “my pen must keep scratching its head across the page of another night”. Putting emphasis on what the pen is doing instead of how it’s being used, also using a word like scratched with an inanimate object like a pen. There are multiple examples like this throughout the poem, but the title is much more literal.
“As in the beginning”, the poem’s title is referencing the author’s personal feelings. about the time before her father lost her hand, in an accident. Using examples like “give me my father’s hands young again and holding the hands of my mother”, it’s fairly obvious that the author’s is referencing that time. Also But also reading under the lines you’ll see that there are references to the physiological effects that her and her father losing his hand.
There are many symbols and references to what happened to her father and how losing his hand affected his life. “Give me my father’s hands without a number tattooed at the wrist”. This suggests that her father may have been a holocaust survivor, and at those camps is where he might have lost his hand. An example, in addition, would be “give me my father’s hands, without the copper sweat of clinging change”, this could be referencing right after her father lost his hand. Either referencing blood or actual money which was compensation for his hand.
The poem draws on many psychological factors such as trauma and how it can not only affect the individual but also how it affects the people around them. The poem’s use of symbols, personification and simile are creative and very deep in meaning. And the title’s relationship with the poem is very heavy with its reference. How the writer projects their emotions was confusing, though the point was made clear. A very enjoyable poem to break-down and figure out with many knots to tie and connect.