After by Philip Bourke Marston

After by Philip Bourke Marston

“After” is a poem by Philip Bourke Marston that explores the theme of death and the afterlife. Throughout the poem, Marston uses vivid imagery and figurative language to convey the speaker’s sense of longing and curiosity about what lies beyond death.

The poem begins with the line “After the darksome days have flown,” suggesting that the speaker is reflecting on the end of their life. The imagery of darkness represents the uncertainty and fear that often accompany the idea of death.

As the poem progresses, the speaker expresses a sense of wonder and curiosity about what comes after death. They ask questions like “shall we wake, shall we sleep, shall we sigh?” and “shall we meet, shall we rest, shall we know?” These questions convey the speaker’s desire to understand what lies beyond death and to find a sense of peace in the face of the unknown.

The speaker also expresses a longing for connection and reunion with loved ones who have passed away. They write of “meeting the loved and lost again,” suggesting that the afterlife is a place where relationships and connections can be restored.

Throughout the poem, Marston uses religious and spiritual imagery to suggest that the afterlife is a place of peace and transcendence. He writes of “the angels’ home” and “the land where life is love,” suggesting that the afterlife is a place where the soul can experience a sense of divine love and connection.

In the conclusion of the poem, Marston reflects on the idea of death as a natural and inevitable part of life. He writes “for there is naught we need to fear, / Since life and death are one.” This line suggests that death is not something to be feared, but rather a natural part of the cycle of life and growth.

Overall, “After” is a powerful and evocative poem that explores the themes of death, the afterlife, and the human desire for connection and understanding. Through vivid imagery and spiritual symbolism, Marston conveys the speaker’s sense of curiosity and longing about what lies beyond death, ultimately finding a sense of peace and acceptance in the idea that life and death are interconnected.

In conclusion, Philip Bourke Marston’s “After” is a beautiful poem that explores the complex emotions and questions that arise in the face of death. The poem’s themes of curiosity, longing, and acceptance resonate with readers of all backgrounds and experiences, reminding us of the universal human desire for connection and understanding in the face of the unknown. Through its rich imagery and poetic language, “After” offers a powerful and hopeful vision of the afterlife, one that celebrates the interconnectedness of all life and the enduring power of love and connection.

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