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Analysis of In Memory of Anyone Unknown to Me by Elizabeth Jennings


About the Poet

We seem elated to be analyzing another elegy_ a mild elegy for that matter. What could be more delighting than meeting poets in their genius dens.

The poem "In Memory of Anyone Unknown to Me" proved Elizabeth Jennings' creativity was inelastic during her lifetime.

Elizabeth Jennings was an English poet born 18th July, 1926 in Boston, United Kingdom but died 26th October , 2001 in Bampton, United Kingdom.

About the Poem

The poem is about death. She wrote the poem solely because she admired the dead_ they are humans just as herself. Structurally, "In Memory of Anyone Unknown to Me" by Elizabeth Jennings is a three stanza poem of six lines each stanza with the end rhyme pattern of ABBACC DEEDFF GHHGII.
[You Can Even Listen to the Poem In Memory of Anyone Unknown to Me]

In the poem, Elizabeth Jennings treated mourning like a philanthropic act. Even when none of the poet's friends or relatives died, she still found it in her heart to practice a mournful ritual to those that are dead anywhere in the world at such time. 

Besides mourning, she also emphasized life's achievements or earthly accomplishments as seen in the second stanza of the poem below:
"How they lived, or died, is quite unknown,
And, by that fact gives my grief purity--
An important person quite apart from me
Or one obscure who drifted down alone.
Both or all I remember, have a place.
For these I never encountered face to face".

The reason she didn't mourn any status under the grip of bias was because the famous which she referred to as "An important person quite apart from me" and the commoner which she referred to as "...one obscure who drifted down alone" are both victims of death which she was yet to witness though indebted to it.

She did imagine whatever burial rites could be going on at that particular time_ digging of grave or cremation. And being an abstract mourner also took away any form of sentiment in as much as she wouldn't have to worry about their epitaph, or taking roses to their graves or wondering whether they were good persons who deserved not to die or bad persons who truly deserved the cold stings of death.
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Enunwa Chukwudinma S. aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with wings flying)
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