School Daze Essay

1367 Words Apr 16th, 2015 6 Pages
Dr. Mark Henderson
English 102-105
November 11, 2013

W.S Merwin’s For the Anniversary of My Death and Yusef Komunyakaa’s Facing It both revolve around themes of death. Each author’s approach to the subject is vastly different, yet there are also striking parallels. Both poems were filled with imagery, which caused me to pause and consider how I relate to death, be it my own imminent demise, or the death of those around me. For the Anniversary of my Death, is a poem depicting the tale of a man who realizes that death is unavoidable. Each year as we go about our daily business we all without celebration, pass our individual death anniversaries. We have no way of knowing when this day is and few of us take the time to contemplate
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The writer uses imagery and rhythm to take the reader to a place of melancholy and then enlightenment. The poem is divided into two stanzas which direct the reader to the times before the writer’s death which is like “a lifeless star” and after he dies, when he says the falling of rain will cease and the song of the wren will be heard. The writer seems to truly embrace the idea of his death.

After reading Merwin’s work I wondered if it were not so much about his own death, but death in general. We as humans are on a tireless journey. We go about our lives, eating but not tasting, hearing but not listening, seeing but not really understanding. We tend to take life for granted. Merwin speaks of waving fires and a lightless star. Fires bring about destruction, even the fires that we use to heat our homes, they are burning logs; causing death. Or perhaps the fire is symbolic of Hell, taunting him, showing him what could be waiting after death. The stars that we see at night, the lightless stars, are not alive they are simply burst of gas left from the living stars.
He goes on to speak of the things he will miss when he passes, such as the love of a woman; many of us don’t appreciate the relationships we have in life. We tend to view past relationships as over, done with, no longer relevant. I don’t think that’s true, be it your kindergarten teacher, or your

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