• Poem inspired by the close-knit community in which he lived • Urban setting - poet of place - reflected in his work • Personal poem, even though describing/mourning death of Mr D., still get hint of poet’s feelings in this poem - “I” in first stanza • In some degree, elegy - poem mourning or lamenting someone’s death • Uncompromising poem at same time - honesty - Mr D. is never idealised - presented in an honest manner • Poem is also compassionate - Mr D is not the nicest person but still sense poet’s empathy/sympathy for character • Poem deals with ageing - in particular the negative effects of ageing • Poem deals with fragility of life - reminded of own mortality • Typical Kinsella poem
• Poem with rather sombre and bleak outlook on life - seen in a lot of his poetry • Outlook reflected in imagery of pain and suffering - recurring motif in the poetry of Kinsella
A man still light of foot, but ageing, took
An hour to drink his glass, his quiet tongue
Danced to such cheerful slander.
He sipped and swallowed with a scathing smile,
Tapping a polished toe.
His sober nod withheld assent.
When he died I saw him twice.
Once as he used retire
On one last murmured stabbing little tale
From the right company, tucking in his scarf.
And once down by the river, under wharf
Lamps that plunged him in and out of light,
A priest-like figure turning, wolfish-slim,
Quickly aside from pain, in a bodily plight.
To note the oiled reflections chime and swim.
|A man still light of foot, but ageing, took |Although old, still agile | |An hour to drink his glass, his quiet tongue |Awareness from very start of ageing process | |Danced to such cheerful slander. |Slow...