Poetry Response Paper 3 / English 140W / Professor Russo
“After A Death” by Roo Borson
In Roo Borson’s short poem “After A Death”, there is a depiction of a woman’s
mental, emotional, physical, and social state while in love. The woman speaker in the
poem tells she is desired and loves to be desired by her lover. She feels sexy thinking
about her absent lover and desire to seek out a proper union.
The first stanza starts, “Seeing that there’s no other way, I turn his absence into a
chair” (lines 1-2). Here the reader sees the woman personify an object and she
personifies the chair. She so badly wants the guy, she imagines him as a chair. It’s
almost as if her imagination has become her reality. The woman then says, “I can do
what I do best and then go out into the world” (line 5-6). Here we get the sense that this
not present person desires her and she gets strength from his desire for her. I would say
the desire is strength but at the same time desire is a form of weakness. Without the
guy’s desire she wouldn’t be able to do all the things. It is neediness and desperation and
this might cause her to foul up.
The woman speaker then says, “And I can return then with my useless love, to
rest, because the chair is there” (lines 7-9). This gives me an impression that the speaker
and woman in general place their happiness on being desired by the opposite sex, which
is not necessarily bad. Also one can learn that from this that women love being desired
and adored, it makes her feel like a woman. Lastly, she gets her ego from the guy as seen
in the poem.