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Analysis of 10 poems on death

Analysis of 10 poems on death

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  • 1. Theme: Death POETRY ASSIGNMENT By David Klos
  • 2. I chose death for my project theme because I was interested in learning the variety of methods different poets used to express death in poetry, whether it was to use repetitive words and sentences to make a point or to compare the indifferences of nature to mortality. I wanted to explore the many view points of death and show that everyone has a different take on demise, sometimes happy and sometimes sad. For death cannot be expressed in one word for the passing is as complex as the human experience itself. WHY DEATH:
  • 3. When all the world is young, lad, And all the trees are green; And every goose a swan, lad, And every lass a queen; Then hey for boot and horse, lad, And round the world away; Young blood must have its course, lad, And every dog his day. When all the world is old, lad, And all the trees are brown; And all the sport is stale, lad, And all the wheels run down; Creep home, and take your place there, The spent and maimed among: God grant you find one face there, You loved when all was young. YOUNG AND OLD BY: CHARLES KINGSLEY Green representing youth. Goose to swan – first transition from kid to young adult. Go out into the world and make use of the time when young. Clear turning point from young to old with the brown trees. Run down wheels shows the immobility that comes with age. And hopefully you wont have to die alone.
  • 4. The speaker is a wise old man informing his son what is to be done in life. I really enjoy how the poem starts off with the beginning of life with green trees for new growth then transitions into the father saying ―Then hey for boot and horse, lad, And round the world away;‖ witch to me means go out there and make use of this time you have on earth because ―Young blood must have its course, lad, And every dog his day.‖ The world will not stop for you you must make use of the time you have. Charles Kingsley makes great use of transition words from young to old were the trees turn from green to brown wheels run down and creep home witch in the end clearly and beautifully defines the turning points. RESPONSE TO: YOUNG AND OLD
  • 5. When I am asked how I began writing poems, I talk about the indifference of nature. It was soon after my mother died, a brilliant June day, everything blooming. I sat on a gray stone bench in a lovingly planted garden, but the day lilies were as deaf as the ears of drunken sleepers and the roses curved inward. Nothing was black or broken and not a leaf fell and the sun blared endless commercials for summer holidays. WHEN I AM ASKED BY LISEL MUELLER I sat on a gray stone bench ringed with the ingenue faces of pink and white impatiens and placed my grief in the mouth of language, the only thing that would grieve with me Indifference- lack of interest or concern Spring all was in bloom The plants where not listening to her emotions. < Nothing showed a sign of sadness or death. Life continues on even when others die. Commercial- the perfect day. Something on might see in a commercial ^ Encircled by innocent unworldly faces. The only thing that would express my suffering and distress was my words. So this is how I began writing poems
  • 6. This poem is about a man who has lost his mother. He goes out into a small garden to grief over his loss however finds the plants know no comfort. “but the day lilies were as deaf as the ears of drunken sleepers,…” nothing was showing concern or interest for his feelings. So the man turns to the mouth of language or poetry seemingly the only thing that would grieve with him. Mueller has a way with using imagery and similes to really express the indifference nature has on her feelings. Day lilies as deaf as the ears of drunken sleepers, nothing black or broken, and my favorite “the sun blared endless commercials of summer holidays.” RESPONSE TO: WHEN I AM ASKED
  • 7. My mother said, “Of course, it may be nothing, but your father has a spot on his lung.” That was all that was said: My father at fifty-one could never speak of dreadful things without tears. When I started home, I kissed his cheek, which was not our habit. In a letter, my mother asked me not to kiss him again because it made him sad. In two weeks, the exploratory revealed an inoperable lesion. The doctors never told him; he never asked, but read The Home Medical Guidebook. Seven months later, Just after his fifty-second birthday -- his eyesight going, His voice reduced to a whisper, three days Before he died – he said, “If anything should happen to me…” UNTITLED BY DONALD HALL
  • 8. This poem by Donald Hall shows the father in denial to avoid the sadness that comes with death. Now I believe the son is angered by how his father handles these situations especially being his age as shown when the son states “My father at fifty-one could never speak of dreadful things without tears.” But the son puts up with it because he understands were he is coming from. “I kissed his cheek, which was not our habit.” This shows how his son made a last effort by letting him know he loved him and he has accepted his ways. Seven months later when his death was near the father makes an effort in saying his good byes. “If anything should happen to me…” Sad ending because his dad waited so long to face the end. RESPONSE TO: UNTITLED
  • 9. I watched the turtle dwindle day by day, Get more remote, lie limp upon my hand; When offered food he turned his head away; The emerald shell grew soft. Quite near the end Those withdrawn paws stretched out to grasp His long head in a poignant dying gesture. It was so strangely like a human clasp, My heart cracked for the brother creature. I buried him, wrapped in a lettuce leaf, The vivid eye sunk inward, a dull stone. So this was it, the universal grief: Each bears his own end knit up in the bone. Where are the dead? we ask, as we hurtle Toward the dark, part of this strange creation, One with each limpet, leaf, and smallest turtle--- Cry out for life, cry out in desperation! Who will remember you when I have gone, My darling ones, or who remember me? Only in our wild hearts the dead live on. Yet these frail engines bound to mystery Break the harsh turn of all creation's wheel, for we remember China, Greece, and Rome, Our mothers and our fathers, and we steal From death itself its rich store, and bring it home. DEATH AND THE TURTLE BY: MAY SARTON Holding on to the last of life Poignant- keenly distressing to the feelings Slowly death is sinking in. The correlation between human and animal is being made. The notion of death boggles us. we are in the dark about this subject. We learn so much from death. History from death this is what is worth remembering. We can only live on in memories.
  • 10. This poem has a strong lesson to teach of life and death. Her turtle is dieing refusing food and her heart saddens when all is over. With death comes the universal grief. The question asked time and time again is asked ask once more “Where are the dead?” And the answer is nowhere to be found. Ultimately life goes on “Only in our wild hearts the dead live on,…We remember China, Greece, and Rome, Our mothers and our fathers,…” death itself holds many memories and that is what can be brought home. This is a wonderful poem on what is learned from death. The first paragraph shows the death of her turtle who touches her heart and causes her universal grief. Then comes the second paragraph the burial and the mourning questions asked of in hopes of closure where are the dead? But whatever the answer is she learns that the turtle will only still live on in memories and so the dead live on. RESPONSE TO DEATH AND THE TURTLE
  • 11. Who does not love the Titanic? If they sold passage tomorrow for that same crossing, who would not buy? To go down... We all go down, mostly alone. But with crowds of people, friends, servants, well fed, with music, with lights! Ah! And the world, shocked, mourns, as it ought to do and almost never does. There will be the books and movies to remind our grandchildren who we were and how we died, and give them a good cry. Not so bad, after all. The cold water is anesthetic and very quick. The cries on all sides must be a comfort. We all go: only a few, first-class. TITANIC BY DAVID R. SLAVITT
  • 12. Fun way to put it. We are all going to die so who wouldn’t want to die first class. This poet was very good at placing significant information in the opening and closing lines. The poet starts off with “Who does not love the Titanic? If they sold passage tomorrow for that same crossing, who would not buy?” the titanic was an iconic and powerful machine associated with first class pleasure. Now death is not associated with pleasure? Is it? “Not so bad, after all. The cold water is anaesthetic and very quick. The cries on all sides must be a comfort. We all go: only a few, first-class.” But here Slavitt shows us if we are going to die why die alone if you can die with the masses and be remembered and cried upon. So I guess now we see the Titanic as being a first class death machine. Not so bad after all. RESPONSE TO: TITANIC
  • 13. In darkness of the night I spied him in a tree Sat I froze by the sight He was looking at me The summer's heat became a chill The angel of death at his kill My heart skipped with the fright Blinked my eyes to bet'r see Glanced back with all my might Parted he my comp'ny My chest was quickly pounding still The angel of death at his kill ANGEL OF DEATH BY UDIAH I did rise and take flight The fear made me to flee From darkness into light To free captivity Unbinding my soul from his will The angel of death at his kill Many years since that night Gazed I on that braz'n be Mem'ries of still incite Fears of my slavery Existence of him makes me ill The angel of death at his kill
  • 14. The fear of death is strong in this poem. I believe this poem represents a person who stares death in the eyes such as a person that has a heart attack or stroke and with luck gets away. I find the reputation of the phrase. “The angel of death at his kill” very cleaver. To me the repeated phrase is like a constant reminder that death could come to take him any time he pleases and the man knows this all to well. Even when he does escape immediate death as we see in the 3rd paragraph when it is stated “From darkness into light To free captivity Unbinding my soul from his will,…” the angle of death still lingers as shown in the forth paragraph “Mem'ries of still incite Fears of my slavery Existence of him makes me ill The angel of death at his kill” RESPONSE TO ANGEL OF DEATH
  • 15. Somebody’s baby was buried to-day— The empty white hearse from the grave rumbled back, And the morning somehow seemed less smiling and gay As I paused on the walk while it crossed on its way, And a shadow seemed drawn o’er the sun’s golden track. Somebody’s baby was laid out to rest, White as a snowdrop, and fair to behold, And the soft little hands were crossed over the breast, And those hands and the lips and the eyelids were pressed With kisses as hot as the eyelids were cold. Somebody saw it go out of her sight, Under the coffin lid—out through the door; Somebody finds only darkness and blight All through the glory of summer-sun light; Somebody’s baby will waken no more. Somebody’s sorrow is making me weep: I know not her name, but I echo her cry, For the dearly bought baby she longed so to keep, The baby that rode to its long-lasting sleep In the little white hearse that went rumbling by. I know not her name, but her sorrow I know; While I paused on the crossing I lived it once more, THE LITTLE WHITE HEARSE BY ELLA WHEELER WILCOX Could have had bad memories. Mood has changed Snowdrop- white bell shaped flowers. Bells symbolize death. How does she know how this baby has died? She cries with the baby because it had a long life still to live. She went through the same thing if she knows the sorrow.Breast- compassion, consolation Resting was a nice subtle way of putting it. Seemingly memory of her kissing her baby good bye.
  • 16. A great little poem that unwinds its self. A poem of rehashing past grief. When encountering the coffin where the baby lie, she stopped and all of a sudden her mood changed. The baby is laid out to rest where she rehashes her memories of her baby that died. Instead of telling us what happened to the persons baby witch she would not know she lets us know how her baby passed. “Somebody saw it go out of her sight, Under the coffin lid” and once gain she imagines her self kissing him or her good bye. With kisses as hot as the eyelids were cold. The use of the white hearse rumbling was very enriching to the poem. This repetition is almost like a point of remembrance, where its presence brings her back to the past. RESPONSE TO THE LITTLE WHITE HEARSE
  • 17. When these graven lines you see, Traveler, do not pity me; Though I be among the dead, Let no mournful word be said. Children that I leave behind, And their children, all were kind; Near to them and to my wife, I was happy all my life. My three sons I married right, And their sons I rocked at night; Death nor sorrow never brought Cause for one unhappy thought. Now, and with no need of tears, Here they leave me, full of years,-- Leave me to my quiet rest In the region of the blest. A HAPPY MAN BY EDWIN ARLINGTON ROBINSON
  • 18. With the ups and downs of death this is one that has a very happy outlook. In this poem Edwin is basically saying, though I am among the dead I do not want to hear a mournful word said. I leave behind children and my wife let them know I lived a happy life and I married right. Now lets not cry, yet leave me here where I am blest. The man now dead has no regrets and finds that he lived a fulfilling life so he wants his family and all to know there is nothing to mourn for. A great poem seemingly directed to his family . This poem to me teaches is family that this is his time to go and as long as you live life to the fullest you have nothing to be sad about. RESPONSE TO A HAPPY MAN
  • 19. In the long, sleepless watches of the night, A gentle face--the face of one long dead-- Looks at me from the wall, where round its head The night-lamp casts a halo of pale light. Here in this room she died, and soul more white Never through martyrdom of fire was led To its repose; nor can in books be read The legend of a life more benedight. There is a mountain in the distant West That, sun-defying, in its deep ravines Displays a cross of snow upon its side. Such is the cross I wear upon my breast These eighteen years, through all the changing scenes And seasons, changeless since the day she died. THE CROSS OF SNOW BY HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW The memories of this loved on is keeping him up at night. Martyrdom- suffering, torment Benedight- blessed I see a comparison with the mountains and his breast where his loved one lives on. Breast- compassion He still stays true to her though all these years. Sees her as an angel.
  • 20. This poem was actually based Henry w. Longfellow’s wife’s death. Longfellow's wife died tragically when an ember from the fireplace caught her dress on fire and burnt her so badly that she died a few days later. Longfellow tried to put out the fire, and in his attempt his face was badly burned that he grew the a long beard to hide the scars. In this poem I see a struggle to let this tragedy go. He continuously revisits her death witch we know as compared to Martyrdom of fire or suffering of fire. As I see it he tries to gains closer by keeping her in his heart or in other words referred to as “a mountain in the distant west.” Though the eighteen year that she has been gone time has not made it easier for him but I believe he has since moved on but the memories of her in his heart has stayed the same. RESPONSE TO THE CROSS OF SNOW
  • 21. I lay here alone, on cold concrete and stone, my body broken and weak, in recognition of my impending defeat. Only pain and fear I feel now, as I am slipping away, how much I desire, to see the sun rise the next day. I no longer fear, my journey ahead, for it will not be long and I shall be dead. For I am at peace and accept my fate, help has arrived, but I fear it's to late. MY EXPERIENCE OF DEATH BY DATHAN ELDRIDGE Taking my last breath, as I look upon the clouds, my eyes feel heavy and I'm hearing muffled sounds. I am moments from death, and all I can feel, is my beating heart, starting to fail. All is silent now, for I am gone, off on my new journey, to find my new home......
  • 22. Dathan Eldridge was very good at using sense triggers and symbolism to express the feelings one may have at their end. “I lay here alone, on cold concrete and stone,” here we see loneliness associated with cold or death. Then Dathan connects slipping away with pain such as when one falls “Only pain and fear I feel now, as I am slipping away,…” and even in the very same sentence she says “to see the sun rise the next day.” Rise may not only expresses the act of being alive just for one more day but also the action of rising up from her slip or fall. She looks upon the clouds could also mean looking at heaven. Danthn was able to capture a wide range of emotions and meanings in just a short amount of time. RESPONSE TO MY EXPERIENCE OF DEATH
  • 23. Keillor, Garrison. Good Poems. New York: Viking, 2002. Print. Wilcox, Ella W. "The Little White Hearse." Family Friend Poems. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2014. <http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/the-little-white- hearse-by-ella-wheeler-wilcox>. Longfellow, Henry W. "The Cross of Snow." Family Friend Poems. N.p., Oct. 2011. Web. 20 Apr. 2014. <http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/the- cross-of-snow-by-henry-wadsworth-longfellow>. Robinson, Edwin A. "A Happy Man." Family Friend Poems. N.p., Apr. 2013. Web. 20 Apr. 2014. <http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/a-happy- man-by-edwin-arlington-robinson>. CITATIONS
  • 24. Eldridge, Dathan. "My Experience Of Death." Family Friend Poems. N.p., Feb. 2010. Web. 20 Apr. 2014. <http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/my- experience-of-death>. Udiah. "Angel of Death." Poemhunter.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2014. <http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/angel-of-death-26/>. CITATIONS