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With Death, Comes Grief

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Samantha Diaz

on 6 December 2017

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Transcript of With Death, Comes Grief

In Lydia Davis’ poem, “Head, Heart” she introduces a speaker who is telling a story about a human being suffering from the loss of a loved one, and how their head and heart feel about it by utilizing personification, vocabulary, and simplicity.
Head, Heart & The Vacuum
When reading the first line of each poem, there is a sorrowful tone. Davis’ “Heart weeps” (line 1) and Nemerov’s “The house is quiet now” (line 1) immediately gives the readers a sense of sadness and loneliness.
“Head, Heart” has an unknown speaker who is personifying his/her own head and heart as voices of reason and grief. Heart is hurting for an unknown loved one, and head tries to help heart overcome its grief. The last two lines of “The Vacuum” also personify the heart of the widower, expressing the same emotions as the heart from “Head, Heart.” Essentially, the widower’s heart and the unknown speaker’s heart are both feeling the emotion of immense grief; they’re missing and longing for their loved ones’ return. Both poems also convey loneliness.
In conclusion, with death, comes grief. The only difference is how people choose to interpret their story of death, which then brings out their grief. Davis’ “Head, Heart” and Nemerov’s “The Vacuum” fundamentally share the theme of grief, but they used their own creative ways to express it. They both used distinct literary devices and figurative language to convey their theme, only being similar in the use of personification; but it was enough to grasp onto the sorrowful and lonely emotions that resulted from the deaths of the widower’s and the unknown speaker’s loved one. Although these are very different poems in the sense of telling a story, both were able to successfully interpret grief through use of a heart, the essence of emotion.
Davis’ and Nemerov’s use of literary devices and figurative language both effectively develop an expression of grief and sorrow that is initiated by the death of a loved one.
Head, Heart & The Vacuum
With Death, Comes Grief
In Howard Nemerov’s poem, “The Vacuum,” he writes about a widower and his wife and how a vacuum is a symbol of his wife’s death. Nemerov attempts to express the speaker’s grief of his wife’s passing by using personification, simile, and symbolism.
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