Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry: Explained

AFTERLIFE, by                

"Afterlife" is a poem by Jon Anderson that explores the theme of death and the possibility of an afterlife. The poem was published in his 1984 collection, "In the Country of Dreams."

Explanation:

The poem begins by describing the moment of death, with the speaker imagining a transition from life to death as a crossing of a great divide. The speaker notes that death is a mystery, and that no one knows for certain what happens after we die.

The poem then shifts to reflect on the possibility of an afterlife, with the speaker imagining a world beyond death that is both mysterious and alluring. The afterlife is depicted as a place of great beauty and wonder, with endless possibilities for exploration and discovery.

However, the poem also acknowledges the fear and uncertainty that comes with the idea of an afterlife. The speaker notes that the afterlife is shrouded in mystery and that we cannot know for certain what awaits us on the other side.

Poetic Elements:

  • Form: In  "Afterlife" , the poem is written in free verse, without a set rhyme or meter. This form allows the poem to flow naturally, with the language and imagery serving as the primary focus.
  • Imagery: "Crossing over from life to death," "A place we can't imagine"
  • Metaphor: "The great divide," "The dark night"
  • Personification: "Death is a mystery"
  • Repetition: "What we cannot know"

Conclusion:

"Afterlife" is a thoughtful exploration of the mystery and wonder of death and the possibility of an afterlife. The poem acknowledges the fear and uncertainty that comes with the idea of an afterlife, while also celebrating the possibility of a world beyond death that is full of beauty and wonder. Ultimately, the poem suggests that the afterlife is a mystery that cannot be fully understood, but that its allure remains a source of fascination and wonder.

Poem Snippet:

 

"Is there an afterlife,

A place we can't imagine,

Beyond the great divide

And the dark night of the end?"

 


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