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The mere thought of death is quite intriguing. To most of us to contemplate about death is unpleasant. The feel of losing someone you love torments you. Death ends lives, breaks bonds, and demolishes one’s existence. It deprives you from your most loved ones, from the dreams that you have been drawing and from those precious moments you wish to prolong. As cruel as it could be, it could not be prevented; it’s the cycle of the mortal life we have been granted. I stoutly believe that even after your death, your picture is still in the hearts of the ones that loved you and cared about you.

When you leave this world, your life commences all over again, not on Earth but in a better place called Heaven. Each of the six poems has a different approach towards death. Just as people do, each one of us beholds a different emotion that is triggered at the loss of a dear person. Similarly, poems are a person’s writings, someone who’s mourned or someone who doesn’t want to be forgotten. Including these, there are some which portray how death could be pleasant in ugly situations and others how one should fight death with all the power in them.

Remember is one of the poems that is really dear to my heart. This poem preaches the idea of remembering the person that left this life. Remembering his presence and cherishing those moments you shared. Remember is one of the famous poems from the English poet Christina Rossetti in the nineteenth century, she mainly wrote romantic, devotional and children’s poems. “Remember” is a sonnet, which describes a romantic relationship between a man and a woman as one of them dies. The idea dwells on the subject of memory and whether to remember a person after their death or not.

The poem starts with “remember me when I’m gone away, gone far away into the silent land;” the persona here wants to be remembered after her death. Her use of euphemism in “gone away”, softens the meaning of how cruel death can be and also signifies how alerting and irritating the subject of death is to her. Rossetti described after life metaphorically in “the silent land”. As it gives a more effective and touching meaning, portraying how calm and peaceful afterlife is, which she uses to make it more tolerable for her partner to cope with her departure.

When you can no more hold me by the hand,” this emphasizes the relation they had as the gesture of holding hands usually occurs between couples. We notice that the poem is directed towards someone special for the persona and dear to her heart. Rossetti’s craft in using rhyming words in her sonnet such as “away”, “day”, and “pray” adds to the reader’s enjoyment and helps the person connect to the poet’s feelings and emotionally go through the patterns of the poem.

Consequently the word “remember” is repeated as an emphasis for her loved one not to forget her. As much stress is put on remembering the person, Rossetti, however, contrasts it “better by far you should forget and smile than you should remember and be sad. ” She believes that if she is ought to be remembered and the persona recalling her memory will feel bitter; then she would rather not have him in pain. This shows how loving a person can let you compromise your own happiness for the price of theirs.

On the other hand, a beautiful poem to me is a poem that evokes a mixture of feelings inside me and triggers my emotions to swiftly descend and take over my mind and heart. A poem that makes me deliberately undergo the same sentiment portrayed and is attached to my mind as years overtake. This one specific poem “Do not stand at my grave and weep” is one of the saddest poems in my point of view.

Frye begins with two lines that distinctly describe the meaning of the poem. “Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there; I do not sleep. It’s a very intimate note left to a lover after the persona passed away. She insists on enlightening that when she passes away although her body is buried, she is no longer there. She has moved on to a better place and she wants those left in mourning to remember that she is not gone forever, she will still be with them in memory and thought. Frye introduces the rest of the poem through metaphors, as to bring comfort to her loved ones after she is dead. “I am a thousand winds that blow; I am the diamond glints on snow.

The metaphors here are to sooth her family and friends from her loss, she describes herself as the “wind” and “glints on snow” so her family can think of her when they see the snow or feel the wind. Similarly, “I am the sun on ripened grain; I am the gentle autumn rain. ” Symbolism is significant in this poem as she uses different aspects of nature that symbolize liberty, happiness and relief. The poetess here incorporates words such as “ripened grain” and “gentle autumn rain” to convey feelings of peace and comfort.

Therefore convince her family that she is now at concord. Again the poetess portrays the calm image she now beholds with adding joyful imagery; “When you awaken in the morning’s hush, I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft stars that shine at night. ” The details she used bring more feelings of hope for her family and a poem with imagery is more effective because it brings intense emotion to the poem.

At the end of the poem the poetess once again reminds her dear ones, “Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there; I did not die. she wants them to know that she is not really gone, and her spirit is happy and at peace. She hopes these words can bring harmony to loved ones as well. This is a very powerful poem that reaches out to individuals who are dealing with grief, as well as it helps them to let go and find amity. Death is a difficult concept to accept. Frye wrote a truly inspiring poem that has comforted many people over the years. It shows that even when someone you love has passed away, the memory is still with you.

As I have previously stated, each poem has a different approach to death, in Dylan Thomas’s villanelle the rhythm of poem is not to surrender and to fight death and not lay there waiting for it and accepting it. The emphasis on the word “night” throughout his poem which is repeated a multiple of times, is associated with everything that is considered to be dark and impure such as death, sickness and deterioration. He uses it also as a metaphor for everything that is related to death, as it is more soothing than the word itself.

When I looked through to find some meanings of the poem, I acknowledged that this poem has several analogies, and depending on what the reader is feeling; the poem starts to make sense. The analogy that appealed to me the most was the life and death situation, in which the unknown listener is asked and urged to fight and not to surrender to his death. “Do not go gentle into that good night”. It’s noticeable that the poet doesn’t want to scare the listener, therefore he uses plenty of metaphors to beautify the ugly words and their meanings.

The word “one day” represents a person’s lifetime which makes the approach of the sunset his approaching demise. The repetition of the word “rage” in “Rage, rage against the dying of the light. ” highlights how the poet is forbidding the listener to accept his departure. Moreover, the poet again is persuading the unknown listener not to let go and gives examples of smart men, even they know death is inevitable yet they do not accept it and let themselves fade away, as they haven’t yet accomplished everything they were capable of.

Yet he contrasts his words when he mentions the “wild men” and ends the stanza with “Do not go gentle into that good night”. He is not asking them this time, rather describing them. This shows how the great men would not surrender. The poet uses a number of metaphors to exhibit the same feeling but in a different perspective. “Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright” The image of the ocean waves portrays how the good men are about to crash and die as their wave breaks against the rocks.

Thomas demonstrates how the men shout how beautiful that wave could “dance in a green bay. Here the poet used contraries to describe those men, as the sea here means life and shelter to them, the opposite of us humans where the shore is the shelter. The metaphor of using waves to describe men is to comply with the sea and to suit the whole meaning of the stanza. Therefore when the sea waves crash against the rocks on the shore it refers to the men dying.

Another eye-catching metaphor used is the “sun in flight” as the “sun” represents the beauty that exists in the mortal world and it’s “flight” across the sky represents the life span of people living on this planet. Flight” here resembles how our lives move rapidly. You could be celebrating birth and in a blink of an eye mourning death. Thomas’s use of crafts is ample; one of the crafts is the pun on “grave”. It beholds two meanings, either that these men are serious or that they are departing life. The manipulation of words leaves us wondering for the true meaning of the poem. The poet implies that they see “with blinding sight”, yet empowers them that their “blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay”.

Even though they are weak and losing their sight they can still use what strength they have to rage against death. While searching for poems speculating about death, this very poem caught my eyes. Reading throughout the poem I realised how the poet has used plenty of imagery which added to the atmosphere and effectiveness of the poem. Especially in the first stanza, “In the darkness of the night” the opening the poet has used reveals a great deal of the setting of the poem and also gives you a gloomy and a menacing sensation.

The persona in the poem asserts he’s seen the angel of death, and demonstrates the fear he has gone through. The poet here used another effective imagery “The summer’s heat became a chill” right after, “he was looking at me” which gives the impression that it became cold and thus summarizing the feeling of the character right after he saw the angel of death. Coupled with imagery, the poet uses personification in “my heart skipped a beat with the fright. ” In other words the poet wants to emphasize how the persona was petrified.

Likewise it also persuades the reader to fear alongside the character. Another tool the poet uses is the repetition of the line “The angel of death at his kill”. This specific line sticks to the readers’ minds and adds to the poem’s structure as it emphasizes how the persona is near to death, and how the angel of death is ready to pounce on its prey anytime. The first stanza portrays how the persona does not want to be a slave to the angel of death and how fears captivate his soul the moment their eyes meet.

Yet he glanced again and knew the angel is gone “Parted he my comp’ny”, he felt a sudden rush of relief that this angel wasn’t calling for his death “My chest was quickly pounding still”. The poet describes how the persona here felt free from slavery of that angel and contrasting the opening line “In the darkness of the night”, with “From darkness into light” to accentuate the divergence of how the persona felt before and after the angel left. After “many years since that night”, somewhere at the back of his head the feeling of that one night still haunts his subconscious.

However he does not want to remember it especially the “Mem’ries of still incite, fears of my slavery”, as the sheer thought of the angel of death and knowing the “Existence of him makes me ill”. Another view of death is shown in the next poem which is one of my personal favourites, “crabbit old Woman”. It’s written by Phyllis McCormack in the voice of an old woman in a nursing home who is reflecting upon her own life. McCormack portrays how she wanted to be noticed, to be seen as a human being. Not a plant that they feed and move as they wish.

The old woman’s resentful feeling is very much reflected in the structure of the poem which is laced with a desperate tone. And it is a one long, breathless poem which sounds like a cry of protest against the inhumane way the elderly are treated by nurses. However there are two turning points in the poem which can clearly be marked by the changes in the mood. The short lines of each stanza and the frequent use of enjambment and rhyming of every second line, helps to speed up the pace of the poem and express clearly how this old lady is panting for her breath in order to express her suppressed agony.

Throughout the poem, the lady is nostalgic of her childhood, adulthood, and all those days that had passed. She uses a couple of questions and statements to reveal how the nurses see her. The language used invites a lot of sympathy towards this old woman. She believes that the nurses see her as “not very wise”, “uncertain of habit” and someone who, “dribbles her food” and someone who is “forever losing a stocking or a shoe”, and who is “quite unresisting” to what others do to her. She feels worthless, abandoned and dim-witted.

She does her best and still the nurses could not stand it and have no patience with her and they shout out loud, “I wish you’d try” Elderly people do act sometimes as children, and may not listen to us or do what we ask them to, but they were not born old, the lived their life and had their fair share of experiences. They were just like us not long ago, and we will be just like them one day. McCormack’s use of language as present tense in “I’m a small child of ten, with a father and mother, brothers and sisters, who love one another.

It shows how these memories are still fresh in her mind and seem to have taken place recently. The poetess remembers herself as “A young girl of sixteen, with wings on her feet” the metaphor here reflects how here youth was a joyful period and the same feeling is portrayed in the personification of her heart as a child who “gives a leap” contrary to her situation now “I sit here so still, as move at your bidding, as eat at your will. ” We can feel the quick pace of the poem as the stanzas are quite short; this chiefly emphasizes how fast the joyous days have passed.

The poem can be illustrated as a story, as we voyage a full circle of life with the poetess’s imagination, initiating it when she was “a small child of ten”, till she became “a young girl of sixteen”, furthermore “a bride now at twenty”. She continues and adds, “At twenty-five now, I have young of my own, who need me to build, a secure happy home. ” She still recalls when she was “a woman of thirty” and seeing her children grow into men. “At forty” when her sons “will soon be gone” and start to have homes of their own she recalls their “babies play around my knees.

As her children have left her to start building their own families she still holds on to her husband, “but my man stays beside me, to see I don’t mourn;” the use of “my man” reflects how happy and intimate the couple were and helps to contrast the turning point in the poem when, “dark days are upon me, my husband is dead. ” Her use of the direct word “dead”, rather than using a soothing word to describe his departure, shows how it was a painful shock to her, as the last person that stayed with her, has left this world.

She expresses her fear and misery, “I look at the future, and I shudder with dread. This is the second turning point in the poem when she is brought back to the present and remembers that she’s “an old woman now”. Her loneliness is heart-breaking as her “young are all busy, with young of their own”. She feels reduced to an idiot as she knows “Nature is cruel, ’tis her jest to make old age look like fool”. She still believes that “inside this old carcass a young girl still dwells”. She touches my heart while expressing how brutal the loss of her husband and children is through her words “There is now a stone where I once had a heart. ”

McCormack depends on her memories and all those days that were “all too few-gone too fast” to lift her spirit and still she wants to keep remembering every day of her happy life “and now and again, my battered heart swells. I remember the joys, I remember the pain. And I’m loving and living, life all over again. ” This is a beautiful expression of how the woman after all comes to reason with herself and accepts the “stark fact that nothing can last. ”, and she feels satisfied with her life, as she embraces and evokes the happy moments that were unfortunately weighed down with the bad ones.

The poetess ends the poem with a tone of positivity and commands the nurses to dig deeper and not only see “a crabbit old woman” thus, she sighs “see ME. ” Last but not least, is the poem by Chinua Achebe, A mother in a refugee camp. This is an emotionally touching poem displaying the utter devotion of a refugee mother towards her son. She knew her time with him was limited due to his diseases and malnutrition yet “in her eyes the memory of a mothers pride” would not let her give up on him.

The structure of the poem mirrors the ongoing, non-stop suffering of these poor refugees. The long sentences reflect the exhaustingly long suffering, as if Achebe can’t find a way to stop from describing this dreadful scenery. The opening line of the poem “Madonna and Child” gives this mother and her infant rather a holy, sacred superiority. It manifests that the devotion of this particular mother surpasses that of any other mother. Achebe adds, that all the “other mothers there had long ceased to care, but this one. ”

This mother was devoted to her child, she knew that his days on earth were numbered, yet she did not let that stop her from performing her motherly acts as perfectly as she could. She would comb “the rust-coloured hair left on his skull” and she would hold “a ghost smile between her teeth. ” The poet portrays how in a very ordinary day or “in their former life this was perhaps a little daily act of no consequences”. The picture here of describing the mothers smile as a “ghost smile” is to bring in to view how faint the smile was due to all the pain she is struggling with.

Nevertheless the brave mother still tries hardly to maintain a normal daily routine in a situation which is far from normal. Moreover, the poet succeeds to weigh down the negative side in the poem with the positive actions of the mother in this horrific and repulsive situation. I greatly respect the mother’s spirit as she is holding on to her son till the last minute, and it is unattainable to understand how hard it is for this mother to cope with the countdown of her child‘s life.

The mother’s persistence of keeping her child calm and not making him feel that his end is approaching was her aim. But she could not lie to herself long, “she had bathed him and rubbed him down with bare palms” in preparation for his death. Chinua also uses imagery in “unwashed children with washed-out ribs and dried- up bottoms”, this reflects how revolting experiences the refugees go through. Similarly he points of “odours of diarrhoea”, to scheme the exact drastic picture he has witnessed. At the end of the poem, a sad picture is revealed of the mother “putting flowers on a tiny grave”.

No mother should behold such a memory of her child, dying in her arms, and there is nothing in her hands that she could do. Still she did not surrender; she held him in her arms till the very last minute. And believed that she and her little one and will be rebounded in after death. Taking everything into account, coping with death is not easy, but death its self isn’t scary, it’s a finality you’ll never know happened when it’s your turn. A person’s death is only something that the loved one’s they leave behind experience. Have you ever thought what will your route to death be?

In some of the poems listed, the route to death of each of the persona was different, the mother was in pain and agony while the old lady was lonely and abandoned. We all are going to have to confront death eventually, although no one can predict the course to his or her death, yet we can decide the course of our lives. Live and appreciate each moment with your loved ones as if it were your last. Make your life worth living as it’s the only memory you take with you, since death is an appointment we must all keep and for which no time is set.

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