Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry: Explained, GOODBYE, POST OFFICE SQUARE, by FANNY HOWE

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry: Explained

GOODBYE, POST OFFICE SQUARE, by                 Poet's Biography

"Goodbye, Post Office Square" was written by Fanny Howe and was first published in her poetry collection titled "The End" in 1992. The poem explores the speaker's feelings of loss and sadness as they say goodbye to a significant place in their life.


The poem is a reflection on the speaker's experience of leaving Post Office Square, a location that holds deep meaning for them. The speaker is filled with a sense of loss as they try to come to terms with the fact that they will never return to this place again. The poem is a meditation on the fleeting nature of life and the inevitability of change.

Poetic Elements:

  • Form: Free verse poem with irregular line length and no strict rhyme scheme
  • Theme: Loss, memory, nostalgia, change
  • Imagery: Descriptions of Post Office Square, including the "gray brick buildings," "marble fountain," and "clipped trees"
  • Tone: Reflective, melancholic, nostalgic
  • Sound: Use of repetition ("Post Office Square, goodbye"), alliteration ("clipped clean"), and internal rhyme ("home," "alone")
  • Language: Simple, direct language with occasional abstract phrases ("a heart too warm for me")
  • Figurative Language: Metaphors comparing the speaker's heart to a "wet leaf," and the city to a "hard bed"
  • Structure: Four stanzas of varying length with irregular line length
  • Symbolism: Post Office Square represents a significant place in the speaker's life and memory
  • Emotion: The poem conveys a sense of sadness and loss, as well as nostalgia and reflection on the past.


"Goodbye, Post Office Square" is a powerful and moving reflection on the fleeting nature of life and the importance of memory and the places that hold meaning for us. The poem's use of vivid imagery, simple language, and reflective tone make it a poignant meditation on the human experience of loss and change.

Poem Snippet:

Post Office Square, goodbye,

grey brick buildings, marble fountain,

clipped trees, bright green,


I won’t be back, ever.


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