Death and Rebirth: Examinig Death Through Poetry

Topics: Life, Snake Pages: 3 (869 words) Published: May 4, 2005
Death and Rebirth: Examining Death Through Poetry

Death is one of the only true constants in the universe and is the only guarantee in life. Everyone knows of death and everyone will experience it, but to the living death is still one of life's greatest mysteries. In some cultures death is celebrated and embraced, while in others it is feared. However it is perceived, death holds different meanings for different people. Through the art of poetry a writer can give a reader many different outlooks and maybe a better understanding of life and death.

Death is certain. We cannot escape it, but just because it is inevitable should we just give in to its dark embrace or should we fight against it? In the poem The Black Snake, the speaker uses vivid images to explain what happened and to express his or her feelings about the situation. In the beginning of the poem a black snake darts onto a busy road and is then hit by a truck. Later a motorist finds the dead snake and buries it in the woods. After burying the snake the motorist continues on his or her drive and reflects on what has transpired. In the first couple of lines "When the black snake flashed onto the morning road, and the truck could not swerve-death, that is how it happens."(687), and from lines 13 to 15 "I leave him under the leaves and drive on, thinking about death: its suddenness, its terrible weight, its certain coming."(687), the snake in this poem is symbolic of us, we are like the snake moving through life until something over takes us, we feel the "terrible weight", of that knowledge. Through the snakes death the reader gets the idea of how fast and unexpected death can be, sometimes there is no way to prepare for it.

Unlike the dark out look of the beginning of the poem, after a little refection the speaker gains a different outlook on death. In lines 15 to 20 "Yet under reason burn a brighter fire, which the bones have always preferred. It is the story of endless good fortune. It says to...
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