The contrast between “Chocolate and fruit” and “Dry scones and milk” perhaps suggests the mollifying (softening) of the excitement of life as we grow older. Again, Kinsella is accepting, though not overly enthusiastic, of the “lasting horror” that the inevitable fate of the ants lies too “in our path”.
In ‘Thinking of Mr. D’, Kinsella describes how those who have died continue to haunt the living. Death overshadows the poem, just like the dead Mr. D impinges on the memory of the poet.
There is a note of criticism of Mr D in the third line when we hear that he engages in “cheerful slander”. This means that Mr D was quick to gossip about others and find enjoyment in such gossip.
Although the first section of the poem describes a man happy in the company of others, the second half portrays a desperately sad individual, alone by the river.
The last stanza in particular shows us another side to Mr D, and makes him more human and vulnerable. Alone, he walks along by the river. The imagery used to describe him here ‘’wolfish slim’’ and a sufferer of “pain” and “bodily plight” gives us a sense that Mr D is unwell. Like the earlier oxymoron (contradictory terms used side by side) about “cheerful slander”, there are