what is the poem "something for you because you have been gone- by dara wier"

Reply Wed 30 Mar, 2011 04:42 pm
Hi, was wondering if you knew what this poem was actually about, and if so what bits prove this point etc. Your help would be so greatly appreciated as my girlfriend is desperately trying to write a coursework on it and hasn't got a blue what it is about and is really upset. If you wouldn't mind having a read over it it would be greatly appreciated.... it goes...

Dara wier-
What happens to us when you go away goes something
Like what happens to shoes in a dead man's closet.
Things inert without breath or breeze to stir them.
As if at the striking of a bell or the blow of a whistle
Or a shot from a pistol everything moving comes to a
Standstill. Quite some race this. Impossible to find
A decent seat. We thought about betting the farm
On who or what might make the first move. We
Were never 100% all there before, why would we want
To be that now? It looks like a struggle ensued where
The hair went down. Ah, look at where so many choose
To leave their skins behind. We passed along a few blankets,
An armful of unworn blouses. We passed you from hand
To hand and solemnly swore to unmention your name.

Many thanks people!!! x
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Reply Thu 31 Mar, 2011 01:08 am
I've a pretty good idea what it is about.

But, being a non native English speaker, I'd better not venture my opinion.

Hopefully, some of the well educated A2Kers will come around to give you a hand..
Reply Thu 31 Mar, 2011 01:25 am
But, being a non native English speaker, I'd better not venture my opinion.

Your opinion is valued here Francis. Have a crack.

I see the sad passing (death) of a special friend in the poem. but I'm unsure how passing a few blankets and an armfull of unworn blouses fits.
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Old Goat
Reply Thu 31 Mar, 2011 01:41 am
To me, the reference to blankets and unworn blouses sounds like friends and family who were left to sort through the possessions, sending on a few things to charity shops or other good causes. A lifetime of valued personal stuff suddenly becoming impersonal, losing all sentimental attachment and, in the end, whittled down to just a few bits and bobs that may be of some practical worth to another.
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Reply Fri 1 Apr, 2011 11:35 am
I'm not sure that this poem is clearly about anything in particular. It does start off referring to the absence of something--which might or might not be a person--and that absence/loss freezes things as they were, disrupts things, brings everything to a halt. But I do not think this necessarily refers to the death of someone, or one particular person, since it says, "When you go away..." suggesting something that comes and goes, not something that has departed for good. Maybe she is referring to recurrent loses of people in our lives, and what we experience each time we have such a loss. We feel left behind, useless, impotent, like those shoes in the closet.

A pistol, which usually starts a race, suddenly stops all motion, so the author is using that image to alter our perception of the sequence of things. What kind of race is she talking about that we are watching? A nuclear arms race? Humans racing against time? Does the death of someone cause us to face our own mortality? She then seems to be referring to the anticipation of what might follow next "(betting the farm...")
and seems to be describing a past struggle or conflict which leads people to shed their past (to shed their "skin" like a snake?) and move on. This could refer to something, like the end of a marriage, the end of a war, death, or even the process of aging. We pass along, or leave behind, memories of ourselves, we bequeath things to others who are survivors, we talk about those who are gone, and we also forget them.

All of the above is simply a guess on my part. I don't think the poem is meant to be very clear. I think she wants the reader to use their imagination.

I found another view of this poem. You can read it here.

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