“My Father’s Song” and “The Odyssey” have a major theme in common which can be seen on two different levels. The common theme of the two poems is the “Father, Son” theme. The author, Simon Ortiz, from whose point of view we read “My Father’s Song”, can be compared as either Telemachus or Odysseus in “The Odyssey”. In either case, the relationship is that something is being passed down. Ortiz can be seen as two people, as a son, and as a father. Obviously, when he is a son, he is compared to Telemachus, and when he is a father, he is compared to Odysseus. Ortiz, along with Telemachus, miss their father.
For Ortiz, his father is dead, and for Telemachus, his father is lost at sea. They both miss the emotional bond and psychological support that their father would provide for them. For Ortiz, it is his father’s songs, and for Telemachus, it is his father’s guidance and influence. Both of them, as sons, want something passed down to them. When Ortiz is compared with Odysseus they are both seen as fathers. Both wanting to pass something down to their children. Ortiz wants to pass along the song his father sang him to his own son, but for some reason the child does not want to hear it, or maybe Ortiz does not even have a son to pass it down to.
Odysseus has guidance and wisdom he would like to pass on to his son, except he has not seen him in twenty years because he is being safeguarded on an island. In all cases, both as fathers and sons, tradition is being lost. The two poems “My Father’s Song” and “The Odyssey” have another similarity in “My Father’s Song”, Ortiz wrote a song that his father told him about Ortiz’s Father and Grand-Father. This Song is supposed to be passed on from generation to generation.
“The Odyssey” is very similar because it was made up in about 700 A. D. nd then the only way it continued to be alive was by bards singing the different books. It was also a story that was passed on from generation to generation. In “My Fathers Song” the tradition of the song being passed down has been delayed because Ortiz either does not have a son, or his son does not want anything to do with the traditions. “The Odyssey” however is still being passed on today after so many years. In both poems the tradition of Father and Son relationships and the tradition of passing on rituals from generation to generation are major factors.
In conclusion, the two poems “My Father’s Song” and “The Odyssey” revolve around a central theme of tradition. Tradition plays a large part in “My Father’s Song” because tradition is how Ortiz was able to first learn the song that had been passed down. Also, since it is a tradition to pass on the song, Ortiz must now pass the song onto his son. “The Odyssey” also has many traditions. If it did not, there is no way the epic poem would have still been around up until now. Both poems speak of an extremely important part of our society, tradition. Without it, we would not be able to connect our present place with our history.