'Death In The Lounge Bar' by Vernon Scannell

AI and Tech Aggregator
Download Mp3s Free
Tears of the Kingdom Roleplay
Best Free University Courses Online
TOTK Roleplay

The bar he went inside was not
A place he often visited;
He welcomed anonymity;
No one to switch inquisitive
Receivers on, no one could see,
Or wanted to, exactly what
He was, or had been, or would be;
A quiet brown place, a place to drink
And let thought simmer like good stock,
No mirrors to distract, no fat
And calculating face of clock,
A good calm place to sip and think.
If anybody noticed that
He was even there they'd see
A fairly tall and slender man,
Fair-haired, blue-eyed, and handsome in
A manner strictly masculine.
They would not know, or want to know,
More than what they saw of him,
Nor would they wish to bug the bone
Walls of skull and listen in
To whatever whisperings
Pittered quietly in that dark:
An excellent place to sip your gin.
Then---sting of interruption! voice
Pierced the private walls and shook
His thoughtful calm with delicate shock.
A waiter, with white napkin face
And shining toe-cap hair, excused
The oiled intrusion, asking if
His name was what indeed it was.
In that case he was wanted on
The telephone the customers used,
The one next to the Gents. He went.
Inside the secretive warm box
He heard his wife's voice, strangled by
Distance, darkness, coils of wire,
But unmistakably her voice,
Asking why he was so late,
Why did he humiliate
Her in every way he could,
Make her life so hard to face?
She'd telephoned most bars in town
Before she'd finally tracked him down.
He said that he'd been working late
And slipped in for a quick one on
His weary journey home. He'd come
Back at once. Right now. Toot sweet.
No, not another drop. Not one.
Back in the bar, he drank his gin
And ordered just one more, the last.
And just as well: his peace had gone;
The place no longer welcomed him.
He saw the waiter moving past,
That pale ambassador of gloom,
And called him over, asked him how
He had known which customer
To summon to the telephone.
The waiter said, 'Your wife described
You, sir. I knew you instantly.'
'And how did she describe me, then,
That I'm so easily recognized?'
'She said: grey suit, cream shirt, blue tie,
That you were fairly tall, red-faced,
Stout, middle-aged, and going bald.'
Disbelief cried once and sat
Bolt upright, then it fell back dead.
'Stout middle-aged and going bald.'
The slender ghost with golden hair
Watched him go into the cold
Dark outside, heard his slow tread
Fade towards wife, armchair, and bed.

Submitted by Andrew Mayers

Editor 1 Interpretation

Death In The Lounge Bar: An Intricate Exploration of Mortality

Death In The Lounge Bar is a classic poem written by Vernon Scannell that explores the themes of mortality and the inevitability of death. The poem delves into the idea that death can come at any moment, even in the most unexpected places. It is a haunting and intricate exploration of our mortality that leaves the reader with much to ponder.

The Structure of the Poem

One of the most interesting aspects of Death In The Lounge Bar is its structure. The poem is divided into three stanzas, with each stanza consisting of six lines. The first stanza sets the scene, describing the bar with its "leather chairs," "brass fittings," and "hushed conversations." The second stanza introduces the character of Death, who "moved among them" and "touched them lightly." The final stanza concludes the poem with the realization that "we are all his prey."

The use of six-line stanzas gives the poem a sense of balance and symmetry. It also allows Scannell to build tension throughout the poem, as each stanza adds another layer of complexity to the theme of mortality.

The Use of Imagery

Scannell's use of imagery is one of the most striking elements of the poem. He paints a vivid picture of the lounge bar, using words like "sumptuous" and "opulence" to describe the surroundings. However, this luxurious setting is contrasted with the presence of Death, who "moved among them like a waiter."

The use of personification is also prevalent in the poem. Death is given human characteristics, such as the ability to "touch them lightly" and the power to "single out his prey." This personification gives Death a sense of agency, making him more than just an abstract concept.

The Theme of Mortality

At its core, Death In The Lounge Bar is a meditation on mortality. The poem suggests that death can come at any moment, even in the most unexpected places. The fact that Death is present in the opulent lounge bar, a place associated with leisure and relaxation, adds to the sense of unease.

The poem also suggests that death is inevitable. The final line, "we are all his prey," reinforces the idea that death is something that will eventually come for us all. This theme is universal and timeless, making the poem relevant even today.


While Death In The Lounge Bar is open to interpretation, one possible reading is that it serves as a reminder to live life to the fullest. The opulent lounge bar represents the comfortable but ultimately fleeting pleasures of life. Death, on the other hand, represents the inevitability of our mortality.

The poem suggests that we should not take our time on earth for granted. We should make the most of every moment, savoring the experiences we have and the people we share them with. While death may be inevitable, we can choose to live our lives in a way that makes them meaningful and fulfilling.


Death In The Lounge Bar is a haunting and intricate exploration of mortality. Scannell's use of imagery and personification give the poem a sense of urgency and immediacy, while the structure and balance of the stanzas build tension throughout. The universal theme of mortality makes the poem relevant even today, reminding us to live our lives to the fullest and make the most of every moment.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Death In The Lounge Bar: A Masterpiece of Poetic Irony

Vernon Scannell's "Death In The Lounge Bar" is a classic poem that has stood the test of time. It is a masterpiece of poetic irony that explores the theme of mortality in a unique and thought-provoking way. The poem is a perfect example of how a skilled poet can use language and imagery to create a powerful and memorable work of art.

The poem is set in a lounge bar, where a group of people are enjoying their drinks and conversation. Suddenly, a man enters the bar and announces that he is Death. The patrons are initially skeptical, but as Death begins to reveal his true identity, they become increasingly frightened and desperate to escape. The poem ends with Death claiming his victims one by one, leaving the bar empty and silent.

One of the most striking aspects of the poem is its use of irony. The lounge bar is a place where people go to relax and forget about their problems. It is a symbol of life and vitality, a place where people can escape the harsh realities of the world. However, Death's sudden appearance shatters this illusion of safety and security. The bar, which was once a haven from the outside world, becomes a trap from which there is no escape.

The irony is further emphasized by the fact that Death is not portrayed as a menacing figure. He is described as a "quiet man" who speaks in a "gentle voice." This is in stark contrast to the traditional image of Death as a grim reaper or a skeleton with a scythe. By portraying Death in this way, Scannell is able to create a sense of unease and uncertainty. The patrons are unsure whether to believe Death's claims, but they are also afraid to dismiss them outright.

Another important aspect of the poem is its use of imagery. Scannell uses vivid and evocative language to create a sense of atmosphere and mood. For example, he describes the patrons as "huddled" and "cowering" in fear, which creates a sense of claustrophobia and desperation. He also uses imagery to highlight the contrast between life and death. The bar, which was once a place of warmth and light, becomes a "cold and empty" space after Death has claimed his victims.

The poem also explores the theme of mortality in a unique and thought-provoking way. Death is portrayed not as an abstract concept, but as a real and tangible presence. This makes the poem more immediate and personal, as the reader is forced to confront their own mortality. The patrons in the bar are not just characters in a story, but representatives of all humanity. They are all facing the same fate, and Death's sudden appearance serves as a reminder of this fact.

In conclusion, "Death In The Lounge Bar" is a masterpiece of poetic irony that explores the theme of mortality in a unique and thought-provoking way. The poem's use of language, imagery, and irony creates a powerful and memorable work of art that continues to resonate with readers today. Scannell's ability to create a sense of atmosphere and mood is truly remarkable, and his portrayal of Death as a quiet and gentle figure is both unsettling and thought-provoking. This is a poem that deserves to be read and appreciated by all lovers of poetry.

Editor Recommended Sites

State Machine: State machine events management across clouds. AWS step functions GCP workflow
Learn Ansible: Learn ansible tutorials and best practice for cloud infrastructure management
ML Platform: Machine Learning Platform on AWS and GCP, comparison and similarities across cloud ml platforms
ML Writing: Machine learning for copywriting, guide writing, book writing
Learn GCP: Learn Google Cloud platform. Training, tutorials, resources and best practice

Recommended Similar Analysis

Metamorphoses: Book The Fourteenth by Ovid analysis
Night by William Blake analysis
Her Kind by Anne Sexton analysis
An Hymn To The Evening by Phillis Wheatley analysis
A Clock stopped by Emily Dickinson analysis
Channel Firing by Thomas Hardy analysis
Poem, Or Beauty Hurts Mr. Vinal by e.e. cummings analysis
I dwell in Possibility by Emily Dickinson analysis
Simplon Pass, The by William Wordsworth analysis
Sestina : Altaforte by Ezra Pound analysis