“First Breath Last Breath” by Antler Analysis

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The beginning and the end of life - “First Breath Last Breath” by Antler

Date: 12th of October 2010

The beginning and the end of life - “First Breath Last Breath” by Antler

“First Breath Last Breath” is a poem written by Antler. The central theme of this poem is the beginning and the end of life. Antler manages to translate through words the cycle of life, using two characters the baby boy and the mother. The characters are connected in life through a strong relationship. The cycle is presented by the event of birth of a child and the death of the mother who gave him life. This poem is also about love, the love between a mother and her “baby boy”.

The title of the poem “First Breath Last Breath” is composed of two parts. “Breath” by definition it means the air inhaled and exhaled in respiration but it also means life, spirit or vitality. First part is “First Breath” means the beginning (“first”) of life (“breath”) and second part “Last Breath” means the end (“last”) of life (“breath”). The first part is also present in the first stanza in the ninth line “his first breath on Earth” emphasizing the topic of the first stanza – the beginning. The second part is present as well in the poem, in the second stanza, ninth line “exhales her last breath” emphasizing the second part of the title and also the topic of the second stanza – the end. An important aspect is the structure of the poem. It is composed of two stanzas, each stanza containing one sentence that is broken up at various intervals. Both stanzas have each ten lines. The intervals that the sentences are broken differ from line to line, the longest line being 8 syllables and the shortest being 3 syllables. This structure gives the author flexibility, writing this poem like he is writing a story. He is breaking up the sentence into various intervals in order to create “musicality” among the last words of each line. We could say that a summary of the poem can be composed of the first...
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