I really enjoyed this poem because I feel like this person sincerely misses their loved one, and has been able to move on with their life. They haven’t denied the fact that their loved one is gone. They also haven’t written a long and drawn out poem about how their life will never be able to go on. It’s not the end of the world for them. Which many feel is the only situation left for them. No, they have coped. It’s hard to cope with a loved one being gone, I do understand and have experienced, but I feel like this person has done nicely with coping with the death. Only because I think it is impossible to fully let go of the feeling of loss that you have after losing someone, do I understand when one feels that every hope has vanished, but in After a Death, they have taken that feeling and made it something useful, a chair. Even though the narrator – I am going to say it is a woman because it feels like it and it’s relating to a loved one who is a man – says in the first line “Seeing that there is no other way/I turn his absence into a chair,” I think that she thought it over a good time and realized herself that life could go on and yet she still feels as if it can’t. Thus, the chair!
The chair, I think is a good symbol for the poem because it, as I said before, she still needs and wants her loved one, but they are gone. Instead of not doing anything, she can still “go out into the world” and have the memory of him when she gets back. “Then I can return then to my useless love.” I also feel that the chair is sort of a support for her to get through the rough time, a place where she can rest. Also, it’s comforting to know, for her, that she can always go back to him, the chair, and remember what use to be. Something I believe is important to do when you lose someone, remember them.