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Word Count: 455
My favorite recent poem has been For the Anniversary of My Death by WS Merwin This is an old poem first published in 1963 yet its message is timeless Merwin inspires us to reflect on what seldom crosses our mind After all such an anniversary awaits for every one of us Every year without knowing it I have passed the day When the last fires will wave to me And the silence will set out Tireless traveler Like the beam of a lightless star The first 5 lines describe what happens every year the title of the poem makes it clear what kind of day it is that the poet is passing over What an interesting way to think of our mortality he is referring to death as the day when the last fires that is the warmth of life along with the poets dreams would see him off would wave goodbye as he leaves for the afterlifeeternity The author then compares the silence of the afterlife which is beyond the last fires to the beam of a lightless star which can travel at the speed of light without meeting any resistance able to spread everywhere At the same time this silence must have a source in the same way as a beam does we realize here how the silences source that is the afterlife is beyond our understanding in the same way as a lightless star that is the beams source in the poem remains invisible to us and thus beyond our understanding Then I will no longer Find myself in life as in a strange garment Surprised at the earth And the love of one woman And the shamelessness of men As today writing after three days of rain Hearing the wren sing and the falling cease And bowing not knowing to what The second 8 lines refer to Then when the strange garment
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