Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
- Do you think death is scary? Is it something we should be afraid of or not?
- Is this a religious poem? Do you think people would respond to it differently depending on their religious outlook?
- Is there anything comforting about this poem? Did it work for you? Do you feel better about death knowing that everyone else is going to die too?
- Have you ever felt like you were in "communion" with nature? Can you remember a moment in the outdoors when you felt completely at peace with the world? If so, where and when was it?
- Listen to Blue Oyster Cult’s "(Don’t Fear) the Reaper." It’s got the same idea, right? Can you think of other songs that have a similar message to "Thanatopsis."
- Why do you think the speaker personifies nature as a woman? What effect does this have on you as you read the poem?