“The Dead” by Billy Collins
Billy Collin’s poem “The Dead” reminds me my all memories of the dead people and the stories related to them. Since the childhood, my parents and grandparents used to tell me different stories about the dead people. I liked the poem as it gathered all my thoughts, stories and ideas about the dead people in one place. Some people said that people who are good and do good deeds in all their lives become stars after they died. Similarly, the people who are bad and done bad deeds in all their lives become a ghost or bad and evil spirit after they died. I have heard so many different stories about the dead people although only one thing is common in all these stories which are also related to the poem that is dead people lives in the sky. The poet also mentions that point in the poem, “The dead are always looking down on us, they say,” (1) this line of the poem explains that the dead people are watching the living people or humans from the sky. I have chosen the critical approach theory of biographical criticism. The poet Billy Collins is one of the popular poets in the United States of America. The poem is not representing the life history of the poet as it seems that poet just wrote this poem by gathering his thoughts about the dead people.
This poem is a great literary work, and the poet sums up shortly all his thoughts together. He conveys his thoughts about the dead people that they are watching the living people from the heaven while people are making a sandwich or putting their shoes. In my opinion, it’s true that they are observing us while we are doing our daily routine work. They just want to spend their time, so they watch the living people. If someone lies down on a couch, or on a field, or on the bad after taking a drink, the dead people are watching and thinking that we are looking back at them. But when they realize we are looking back at them (in reality we are not) they move away. This poem comprises of these small points, but I liked it because for me it’s a true representation of the dead people. In my opinion, there could be another way to consider the poem, that poet wants the reader to know about the dead people, and it might be possible that he had a true interest in the stories, sayings and different perspectives about the dead people.
After reading the poem, I realized that it is concise but truly based on a purpose that is telling the people about an idea about the dead people. Moreover, the poem is not based on some serious pattern or theme also does not include any social issue. Similarly, the poem is based on an idea which might be true or might not be true, but the poet showed only his perspective about the dead people. Although I liked the poem, and it is not based on any reality, and we can assume that it’s just a thought of a person who converted his thoughts into a poem about the dead people. By reading the “The Dead” from a biographical and psychological point of view, I realized that poet seems very close to the dead people and their related stories which tell us about the imaginary thoughts and ideas of the dead people.
The critical approach of the poem shows that poet was taking an interest in the dead people stories and it can be seen in the poem. This poem gives its readers an ideological or imaginary perspective about one point of the dead people. This particular point of the poet that might be true or might not be true, and nobody can ever prove that point because nobody returns to this world after death. Poet had used straightforward wording that any one even the children can easily understand the complete poem, so it’s for all the types of people including teens, children, adults and older people. I am always a fan of a person who wrote simple poems and writings, so I liked this poem and recommended it to all the people.
Collins, Billy. “The Daed.” Love Song, End, Desire, Hurt and Worlds Away, compiled by MA Johnson, Sierra College, 2016, p. 2.