One of the Lives
by M.S. Merwin
One of the Lives Questions
Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
- What do all of these other people (especially the red-haired boy, the soldiers, and the people who aren't his family) have to do with our speaker?
- Why do you think Merwin chooses not to use punctuation in this poem? What is the effect? How does it make you feel?
- Why do you think the speaker is reflecting on all of this now, while he's sick in bed?
- What is the effect of listing so many different people (and so many degrees of separation) at the beginning of the poem?
- By the end of the poem, are you satisfied with what we've discovered about our speaker? How do you feel about him? What makes you feel the way you do?
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