Journal : After Death


Poster¡G Julie Cheng at 17:56:38 3/2/98 from h57.s4.ts31.hinet.net
Mentioned¡G

Hi! Ray. It¡¦s great to see you again!
Actually, ¡§Porphyria¡¦s Lover¡¨ is also a beautiful poem that I do love a lot, but ¡§After Death¡¨ is more appealing to me. I guess I¡¦ll have much to say about this poem. I wonder why those Victorian Monologues are gloomy and talk a lot about death. The material we read during last semester was not so cheerful also. Is it because sad things touch people more easily, just like sad movies? Anyway, I better start my analysis right away.
This poem reminds me of the poem, ¡§I heard a fly buzz-when I died,¡¨ which is also mentioned in the syllabus. Both the writers of the poem are female, and the speakers tend to be female, also. The speaker of the poem, ¡§I heard a fly buzz-when I died¡¨ shows her emotion in a more uneasy tone. She knew she¡¦s dead, but she¡¦s confused. She¡¦s in the twilight zone between living and death. The atmosphere was bothering, stiff and ghastly, and she heard a fly buzz then. It was more sick, irritating and inauspicious to hear a fly buzz. Flies symbolize death and fatality. The fly seemed to remind her that she wouldn¡¦t go to heaven, but hell. She showed the cold attitude when she left the world and the people. She didn¡¦t mention about the love with her family or friends.
¡§After Death¡¨ makes people upset because the speaker finally knows ¡§he¡¨ loves her, after her death. I think ¡§he¡¨ might refer to the speaker¡¦s father or husband, the one never shows affection to her. Even when the speaker is dead, he still denies expressing true feelings freely. There are examples in line 7, 9, 10, and 11. He turned away from her when he wept. He didn¡¦t touch her, feel her, or look at her face. Is it because he knew that everything is too late?
There wouldn¡¦t be any second chance for him to show his love. But, did there ever exist love between them? In line 13 she says, ¡§He pitied me.¡¨ She chose ¡§pity,¡¨ instead of other words, to show the slight sadness that fell on the man.
I think the last three lines are very touching and powerful, especially the last line, ¡§he still is warm tho¡¦ I am cold.¡¨ The last line can also be interpreted in another way, other than the narration of the situation: he was alive and she was dead. This line can be extended. The man finally became ¡§warm¡¨ to her, but the speaker turned cold, and was unable or unwilling to show her affection to him any longer. But she said, ¡§very sweet to know¡¨ because she had forgiven him already. It is also ironic to say so. It shows the regret, for either side of them.
I know it¡¦s not easy to say it out loud, but when you love someone, you should let him or her know. Opportunity slips away easily, and there won¡¦t be second chance for us to live again, or make others come to life again. This poem is composed with pity, regret and forgiveness that are absent in the poem ¡§I heard a fly buzz-when I died.¡¨ If the man could hear her, he definitely would regret for being indifferent to her in rest of his life.


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