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on 9 December 2014

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About the Author
Heather Royes works as a consultant [Strategic Communications Consultant, Ph.D. in Mass Communication (University of Wisconsin) and published author] in HIV/AIDS and as a poet. She has been publishing since the 1970s and many of her poems have been included in anthologies such as the Heinemann Book of Caribbean Poetry, Penguin Book of Caribbean Verse and Seven Jamaican Women Writers. Prizes have included Silver and Bronze medals in the Jamaican Festival Literary Competiton. Heather Royes was educated in Jamaica and in the United States, and has travelled widely due to her work as a consultant.
Stanza #1
In the first stanza, the persona is recollecting on a dream he experienced the previous night. During this subconscious encounter she is visited by the personified Death wearing “hot-pink pants and matching waistcoat”; whose ethnicity as a “beautiful black saga boy” is in striking contrast to his brightly colored attire. Notwithstanding Death’s seemingly entertaining and friendly presence, “he filled my frame of vision with a broad white smile”, the inevitable outcome (of Death’s true intentions) is quickly realized by the persona who recounts, “as he reached for my throat”. A frightfully threatening and foreboding action, which started from Death’s forced entry into the caged-like existence (perhaps living conditions) of the persona.
Stanza #2
The second stanza begins with a repetition of the title of the poem, which is also the first two lines of the first stanza, indicative of a recurring dream, On this occasion, however, the persona is prepared to retaliate “with a polished staff of yellow wood”. Despite inflicting some injury to Death, “and he went down”; the persona is however unable to completely impede the diabolical determination and mocking laughter of Death “as he reached for me once more Laughing, laughing that saga boy laugh”. A reinforcement of the persona’s recurring nightmarish encounter with Death.
The Title
The second stanza begins with a repetition of the title of the poem, which is also the first two lines of the first stanza, indicative of a recurring dream, which may be appropriately labeled a nightmare and is also the poems’ PUNCHLINE. That is, a humorous portrayal of the poet’s thematic treatment of death is conveyed in this repetition.
Literary Devices
Personification is used in he poem. Death is given human qualities in this poem. there are various examples
The persona recounts a disturbing dream in which Death visited her dressed in an attractive outfit. His visit was unwelcome, evidenced by the fact that he forced 'open the small door' of her 'wooden cage'. He smiled and even his 'pink sequins...winked' at her. Instead of reaching for the persona's arms, he reached for her throat. She resisted him and awoke from her dream 'unable to breathe'. Later she admits to her attraction to death.In the subconscious realm of the persona, the representation of Death as a well-dressed ‘ladies’ man, West Indian playboy distracts both the persona and reader from exercising a conscious and guarded counter response to Death’s sole purpose: to end life.
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