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Category: Miscellaneous

Autor: anton 19 July 2011

Words: 1018 | Pages: 5

Poetry Final


Without death there could be no life. Although dying is inevitable for the living, it’s a reality people are afraid to face. Many people simply fear the unknown, many people fear they will face consequences from their life once they die, and others just don’t want this wonderful ride to end. Death leaves people questioning what they believe in and what’s important. To lose someone you love is a grief everyone will deal with at some point. It’s just a part of life. However, a loss can be heartbreaking, devastating, and as simple as a reminder that we will all die. So what is the point of it all? What is the meaning of life if we will ultimately die at any moment? These are questions no one can answer yet we yearn for the knowledge. Many poets and other artists use their work as an outlet for losses they have endured as well as coming to terms with the inevitable. Marianne Moore’s “A Grave”, T.S. Eliot’s “Little Gidding,” and Robert Frost’s “Home Burial” all use death as a theme. These poets aren’t trying to explain the meaning of it all because they too do not know. They are simply connecting with their readers who share in the same fears, wonderment, and grief as death makes its rounds to everyone.

Most everyone agrees that although death is a reality, one would hope that a full life of experience would come first. The death of a child is much more than an unfortunate loss. It seems more of a waste of life. If there were a God, what kind of God would take the life away from someone so young? These are questions that go through every mind of a parent who has lost their child. Robert Frost and his wife lost a child and Frost’s poetic outlet deals with this grief in his poem, “Home Burial.” In the poem Amy and her husband have lost their “first child” and are having difficulty communicating with each other. Amy does not want to hear anything her husband has to say pleading, “Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t” (Frost). Her grief has overtaken her and his “words are nearly always an offense” (Frost). Her husband doesn’t understand why “A man can’t speak of his own child that’s dead” (Frost). He realizes that they have experienced a terrible loss but he is not letting the death overwhelm him. He can still talk about his “everyday concerns” although there is a “little grave” visible from the “window” (Frost). Amy doesn’t understand why her baby had to die, whereas her husband understands that death is inevitable for everyone, even his “first child” (Frost). Dealing with death takes a toll on how to deal with life. Stricken with grief Amy realizes that “one is alone, and he dies more alone” (Frost). Although communication is a big part of “Home Burial” the overriding theme is death.

Death affects everyone. When someone dies, even if you do not know him or her personally, it somehow can become extremely personal. In 1917 the Lusitania sank killing the passengers on board. Marianne Moore did not know any of the passengers on board but the sinking still affected her personally. Her brother Warner had just joined the Navy as a chaplain and she feared his death would also be at sea. The sea was symbolic of life to Moore who saw in it the beauty and the danger. Marianne Moore’s “The Grave” is a poem whose theme is death. The mystery of the sea captivated her, as it does for many, but she feared that her brother would find “the sea has nothing to give but a well excavated grave” (Moore). The poem seems to hint at a knowledge that with the sea comes death. Just as with life there is death. It is a yin and yang theory of balance. “Dropped things are bound to sink,” just as all living things will die. (Moore). Although the possibility of death brings fear, people shouldn’t live “as though there were no such thing as death” (Moore). Embrace it. Live it. Although “their bones have not lasted” there should be a respect for both the living and the dead.

T.S. Eliot articulates a respect for time and death in “Little Gidding.” Eliot describes life as a journey filled with different balances: “Pole and tropic, flood and drouth, water and fire” (Eliot). Without one of these aspects there couldn’t be another. It’s as if the beginning “marks the place where a story ended” because in actuality, there is no ending. (Eliot) The ending for something is just the beginning for something else “for last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice” (Eliot). Eliot does not articulate the desperation that Frost uses in “Home Burial” but similar wisdom Moore finds from the sea. There is no point to fear death. Fearing it will only take away from the time we have to live. “What we call the beginning is often the end, and to make an end is to make a beginning” (Eliot). Death is actually a celebration of life.

Robert Frost’s “Home Burial,” Marianne Moore’s “The Grave,” and T.S. Eliot’s “Little Gidding” all use the theme of death. Using death as a theme gives their readers something to relate to in some way. Whether readers personally dealt with a loss of a child, the fear of losing someone, or the knowledge that with life comes death; anyone can sympathize with their words. Life is a theme for death and death is a theme for life. Although we will never understand what the next phase of life is after death, we must embrace it. We cannot hide from it forever.

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