The following is in response to Joanne Jacobson’s essay “Doctor Daddy” that I read via Shadowbox, an online literary journal.
The way Jacobson uses language to depict the kind of relationship she had with her father without explicitly saying it is amazing. With that said, things are a little vague and left up to interpretation. I feel that her father, because of his demanding profession, was not around much—as Jacobson explains with the Latin word abdodere meaning “to hide.” Not only was he not there for her, but probably was absent from a lot of other people in the family because of the relationships that he lost, though Jacobson could mean that he lost them from dying because the short essay is about his death as well.
All the explanations of words derived from Latin work and at the same time don’t work for her essay. I believe what Jacobson is doing with them is showing us that things about her father were derived from Latin like most medical terms, but because of the amount of them it takes away from the essay in that it seems less lyrical and more academic.
Anyways, Jacobson’s essay worked best when her language was creative. When I read the line “Snatcher of prey out from the eager talons of death” I was inspired.