Essay about Analysis Of The Poem ' Alzheimer 's '

764 Words Oct 25th, 2015 4 Pages
Themes of death all ring loud and clear in Cherry’s “Alzheimer’s”, Dickinson’s “Because I could not stop for Death”, and Donne’s “Death, be not proud”. Not so much that the poems themselves are explicitly about the act of dying, but that death is personified or even foreshadowed in the work. Each piece has a different tone when referencing Death. Two of the poems reference Death by name, the last poem doesn’t specifically speak about dying or death per se, but based on the title, “Alzheimer’s”, it is clear that death is imminent for the man in poem.
In Cherry’s poem “Alzheimer’s”, the old man in the poem is described as crazy in the first line, which makes for a relatively shocking and insensitive opening. From the title, it is assumed that the old man is afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease and the speaker is describing the setting that the old man sees upon returning home from his hospital stay, and then moves into describing his thoughts. The description of what the old man sees when he is home describes beauty mixed with turmoil, as seen in lines 10-13: “…Sun hardens the house, reifies it,/ Strikes the iron grillwork like a smithy/ and sparks fly off, burning in the bushes—/ The rosebushes—…” (Cherry 541). Following these lines describing the physical setting, the speaker moves into the old man’s mind before moving into a sad pun when he remembers himself as a young musician “Fiddling with emotion” (Cherry 541). Suddenly the feeling of the poem changes following this…

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