Frances Cornford (1886-1960) remembered an instance of someone announced dead when he was a very young boy; the person was a friend to his father and to him. He used to pay them visits until suddenly announced dead, while the adults were unhappy of the man’s death, the poet was happy he had known a dead person.
The poem is of two stanzas of four lines each. The poem has the end rhyme pathern of AABB CCDD. The poem spoke of the poet’s innocence in youth using the form of elegy.
As short as the poem, poetic devices are embedded within. “father’s friend” (alliteration) “laughed and talked” (consonance) “friendly pink-faced man” (imagery) “how sad” (repetition) “I know a person who has died” (sarcasm).
One of the themes of this poem is the irony of human existence. Hard to predict, hard to ascertain, very hard to reject; some seen today might tomorrow be gone forever.
Another is reminiscience. The title of the poem makes the theme of childhood reminiscience comes quick to mind. As one grows, one remember things in past most especially the childhood memories. The poem and its messages were brought out of such memories.
In childhood, innocence is common; and in the poem the theme of innocence was proven with the last two lines:
“Deep in my heart I thought, with pride,
‘I know a person who has died'”
Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with wings flying)