From Long Distance

  • Created by: nyxienyx
  • Created on: 28-01-23 13:30
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  • From Long Distance
    • four-stanza poem that deals with the irrational manifestations that grief can take
    • represents the idiosyncrasies of grief and showcases them in such a relatable manner that the reader can arrive at what could be a shocking conclusion: There is nothing abnormal about treating grief in a nonsensible, or abnormal, way. Rather, grief is a reaction to something barely understandable, and dealing with it in ways that are not logical is somehow fitting and common
    • after “two years,” the narrator’s father still behaved, in part, as if she were alive and well
      • hint at a level of denial from the father as if he would not accept that his wife was gone, and the tactics he employed to keep with the delusion are fairly large
    • The tendency to work heat into his grieving through “hot water bottles” and “gas” can represent a person’s feeling of cold emptiness upon losing someone close to them, and the continued effort to insert heat into the midst of that grief can speak volumes in regard to the father’s desperateness to thaw out the coldness of his mourning. The void his wife left was deep and frigid, and he needed relief by any means.
    • keeping her “transport pass” active shows a connection to traveling, relates to a journey that occurs afterlife.  can be viewed as a metaphor.
    • People were not permitted to “just drop in” because the father needed time to “clear away [the mother’s] things and look alone.” This speaks of a level of embarrassment that could be tied to his grief, but it is just as likely that the father knows his grieving mechanisms were not logical.
    • To the narrator, hiding evidence of the father’s grief was treating the scenario “as though his still raw love were such a crime.” The delivery of the wording indicates that such a belief was wrong since the line begins with “as if,” which hints at an imagined, presumed state. Had Harrison chosen to say “because,” this word choice would have been evidence that the narrator carried the belief that the father’s grieving tactics were wrong.
    • In essence, this is not a tale of a man who was crazy from grief. It is a tale of a man who was aware, deep down, that his wife was not coming home, but embracing that notion would have felt worse than living like the opposite was true.
    • Overall, ‘Long Distance II’ addresses the lack of logic that lies behind grief through these two accounts. Mourning, seemingly to Harrison, does not have to be rational. It just needs to be.


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