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Long Distance II

Tony Harrison

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Long Distance
Added by: aassde
It is very good, but can be easily misinterprated. This is due to the ambiguous title.
Added by: Jacqueline
Long Distance II is a very thought-provoking poem, which leaves the reader trying to understand what Harrison is feeling. Although his mother is already dead, his father continues doing things for her, as if she were still alive. The Father can't come to term with his wife's death, and is in denial. He is doing all these things to keep her alive. Maybe it is because he is afraid that he may forget her as time goes by and his memory fails him, but he is very much aware of her death. It talks about how he copes with her death. "Clears away her things and look alone" - once again shows that his Father does not wish for his son to be worried about him, showing that he has gotten over his wife's death, acting as if everything was normal on the surface. "He couldn't risk my blight of disbelief" - It actually means that either he does not wish for his son to be shocked at his behaviour, or it could mean that he does not want to destroy the astonishment that Harrison has. It talks about the hope that his father has about his wife coming back. It makes the reader empathise with Harrison, as he has to deal with the torment of watching his father in denial. The irony is only displayed in the last stanza. While we feel that Harrison feels its weird of his father to be in denial, he is in fact struggling to accpet his parents death as well refusing the see his parents as gone from his life. He is feeling the exact same way as his father had - denial. The word "disconnected" emphasizes how distant Harrison and his father have become. The poem has a depressing tone to it, and overall, makes readers empathise with Harrison, as he tries to come to terms with the loss of his parents.
Added by: Missy
I happen to return to this poem again and again because I was thirteen when my mother died of a brain tumor [end of 2002], and however sefishly and senselessly I would have liked my father to react this way, too.
Added by: kelly 16
though i think its easy to misinterpret the failure to come to terms with his wifes death as denial, i think it is more that he just wants to keep her spirit alive by doing the things that he did when they were married. this poem is so beautiful it made me cry!x
Tony Harrison
Added by: Millsey
This poem has many feelings in common with Tony Harrisons poem 'Bookends'. He and his father dont want to let go of their mother, hence the line 'we chew it slowly that last apple pie'. This suggests that they are trying to hold on to every part of her thats possible. Emphasising 'slowly', and 'apple pie' as its a tradition for a mother to nurture and love for her family.
Added by: Lily
I love this poem. It shows us how hard it is get along with our lives after the loss of a beloved. The simple things we tend to miss like the 'hot water bottles" and the "slippers heating by the gas" makes it even more true to life.

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