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Symbol Analysis

If this poem had a soundtrack, it would be a bunch of loud, percussive noises, crackling, and footsteps. The speaker seems to be someplace where she can't actually see the funeral take place. But she hears everything. In the fourth stanza, she compares herself explicitly to a giant ear. She feels violated by all this noise – she can't control whether she hears it or not.

  • Line 6: This simile likens the funeral service to the beating of a drum.
  • Line 9: The speaker hears – but doesn't see – the mourners creak across her soul. Maybe she is underneath the wood floor, listening to the funeral above.
  • Lines 12-14: These lines contain an extended simile. The Heavens are compared to a bell and Being to an ear.
  • Line 15: "Silence" is personified as someone belonged to the same "strange Race" as the speaker. Silence and the speaker sound lonely.

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