Peter Meinke’s “Advice to My Son” revolves around a father who prepares to give an advice on material choices that the son ought to make. The author, in stanza one, tells his son to live the days like each one of them is the last, simply meaning that the son needs to enjoy what the present offers while he makes plans for the future. Additional to this, he advises his son to mix peony and roses with squash and spinach, a symbol that means that the body needs both beauty and substance to survive. In other words, Peter is telling his son that he should be ready to experience many things and that every choice has consequences.

The literary element that is predominant throughout the poem is symbolism.  In the second stanza, Meinke says, “between the peony and the rose plant squash and spinach, turnips and tomatoes.” He uses this symbolism to advise the son to take time for the simple and little things like the necessities because he will need them to survive.  While the peony and roses represent loveliness, squash and spinach represent substance. The body cannot survive on beauty only; it also needs substance. In the last stanza, the author advises his son to “always serve bread with your wine, but, son, always serve wine.” Bread symbolizes goodness while wine represents fun (Littlet 76).

In conclusion, “Advice to my Son” is an inspirational poem on how to live a fulfilling life, from the perspective of one who has more experience.  As a poem, it mirrors the real life experiences.  As many people find out, it is difficult to learn from someone’s own experience. The poem is advice to readers to enjoy life to the fullest while making plans for their future if they survive the challenges that take place in their lives.  It is a poetry that one can relate to on various levels.  As many people find out, it is difficult to learn from someone’s own experience.  This poem inspire readers to enjoy life to the fullest while planning for their future if they survive the challenges that they face in their lives.

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