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The Public

Symbol Analysis

The speaker is not just concerned with his own reaction to the man's death. He wants the acknowledgment of the public, too. Even though we don't really have much of a reason to think that the dead beloved is famous or anything, the speaker really desires that this death be noticed. Perhaps his grief is so consuming, that he wants it to be reflected in all the world around him.

  • Lines 1-4: The speaker wants quiet so that the drum of the funeral march can be heard by the mourners of the dead man. Once again, he's being hyperbolic. No one can really expect every dog in the world to stop barking just because a funeral is happening somewhere in the world. But hey, a guy can dream.
  • Lines 5-6: The speaker asks airplanes to proclaim the man's death though skywriting. It's like he wants the whole world to know what he's going through. 
  • Lines 7-8: He even wants policemen and pigeons to acknowledge the man's death. Once again, hyperbole
  • Lines 9-12: Compared to the previous lines that deal with the public, these lines seem quiet and intimate, and we realize what the dead man meant to the speaker. He wants a public acknowledgment of the man with whom he's spent his private life.

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