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Long Distance II Analysis

Author: poem of Tony Harrison Type: poem Views: 53

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Though my mother was already two years dead

Dad kept her slippers warming by the gas,

put hot water bottles her side of the bed

and still went to renew her transport pass.

You couldn't just drop in. You had to phone.

He'd put you off an hour to give him time

to clear away her things and look alone

as though his still raw love were such a crime.

He couldn't risk my blight of disbelief

though sure that very soon he'd hear her key

scrape in the rusted lock and end his grief.

He knew she'd just popped out to get the tea.

I believe life ends with death, and that is all.

You haven't both gone shopping; just the same,

in my new black leather phone book there's your name

and the disconnected number I still call.

Submitted by Scott Dagostino


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

The sky starts to daerkn; evening pulls the covers over the day,The resting trees folding their limbs earthward,Setting quietness throughout the land,When the birds have nestled to sleep,I will wrap you in a blanket and let you lay; eyes closed,The effortless yielding of the sleeper to Sleep. x x

| Posted on 2013-11-18 | by a guest

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AIN'T SO BADI had found my muse headingdown poietc paths and ponderous ways.Now, most of my days are spentwriting rhyme and prose. And so it goesfor one so inclined to purge his mindof metered minutia. Our days are numberedand I've lumbered through these streetsmeeting wonderful poets and muses,I refuse to go down without a fight(or a Sestina or two). Between me and youthis was the best time I've had.I've realized this place ain't so bad!

| Posted on 2013-11-15 | by a guest

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I haven't written a poem for a long time, so i shan't emsbarras the world by trying now.I really like this i think we all get caught up looking for a moment when the world can be turned on its axis and everything changes: so much so that we sometimes miss the moments when things can really change xx x x

| Posted on 2013-11-14 | by a guest

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GoLet the water take youRun onRun FreeThere is Big Magic thereThough most people don't rlzieaeThe river lets me talk to the water sometimesThough you don't really talkSo much as listenWhen you do; you can learn some amazing thingsAbout the worldAbout yourself The bedrock, and yes the sand tooThey are old And wiseAnd often unconcerned With what we callMeaningBut the Water is older And it's secret purpose remains unseenIt connects us allTo each otherTo the beginningLet the water take youI am glad you are willing

| Posted on 2013-11-12 | by a guest

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LOVE. THIS. Love the flow; love the playfulness; the wsitful sweetness love it all.(oh and if this is the kim that i think it might be [omaha kim?] omg, why have you not come to play/write with us before?) (i hope you come back again. and again. and again.) xo

| Posted on 2013-11-12 | by a guest

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this is a particularly moving account of
the way in which his father cannot come to terms with his mother’s death, and how,
in turn, he cannot come to terms with his father’s death. Although most of the poem
talks of the way his widowed father continued to behave as if his wife was still alive,
even two years after she had died, and although the poet clearly but very lovingly
criticises him for this, the poem ends with an admission that now that both his
parents have gone he still keeps their telephone number, and even still tries to call
There are several aspects of his father’s inability to take in his wife’s death – he still
warms her slippers by the fire, he puts hot water bottles in the bed for her, he renews
her transport pass, he even “knew she’d just popped out to get the tea”. He seems
embarrassed, even ashamed, by his own feelings (“as though his still raw love were
such a crime”), and tries to hide this from the poet.
“I believe life ends with death, and that is all” appears to be the poet’s own belief, and
he tries by saying this to exclude all emotion and sorrow, although on the evidence of
this poem he seems to share some of his father’s views.
Notice how very exact the poem’s rhyme scheme is, and even its rhythm, while
slightly uneven, is basically very steady. It is worth examining the effects of such
strongly controlled writing in a poem that is so full of deep sadness, as is the tone of
a man explaining himself to the reader, and to himself.

| Posted on 2008-07-15 | by a guest

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