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“Before She Died” by Karen Chase Essay

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Updated: Sep 7th, 2022

The poem “Before She Died” was written by Karen Chase, the American author, who lives and writes in Massachusetts. This poem is addressed to someone special to the poet, who, unfortunately, passed away. The poet describes the sadness that consumes her every time she is reminded of that person. In an attempt to take it in for them, she stares at the blue sky attentively, as if that would compensate for all the lost time when that person could see it, but now wouldn’t. The author realizes how short and valuable the days on Earth are, as she is sitting with her dog, whose days are also coming to an end.

This poem is appealing because it quite accurately captures the mournful mood that comes with losing someone you cared about. The line “It will take a long time to know how it is for you” emphasizes how much the author wishes she could see that person, but, sadly, it will take a while until her own death (Chase 51). The depressing tone sets the mood of the poem, helping the reader to feel the sorrow.

Chase uses multiple figures of speech to get her point across. For example, she uses a simile, comparing human lifespan to dog’s lifespan, as if her waiting until their reunion will take seven times more than it should. Moreover, through the use of contrast, the author opposes the past against the present. Although the poem is titled “Before She Died”, in reality, it tells the story of what is happening after she died. Such a discrepancy creates an imagery of how life after someone’s death is never the same.

In conclusion, it would appear that the author accurately depicts the experience of missing a loved one. At some point, everyone loses someone; that is why the poem may be relatable to anyone.

References

Chase, Karen. Kazimierz Square: Poems. CavanKerry Press, 2000.

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IvyPanda. ""Before She Died” by Karen Chase." September 7, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/before-she-died-by-karen-chase/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. ""Before She Died” by Karen Chase." September 7, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/before-she-died-by-karen-chase/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) '"Before She Died” by Karen Chase'. 7 September.

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