In just 9 lines, Roo Borson’s poem says a lot. The motif of bereavement is evident from the poem’s title. It has an emptiness, despair, and depression tone that allows the reader to internalize and empathize with the narrator. The title often foreshadows the reader’s fear of sorrow and grief. The poet is clinging to the memory of a beloved loved one. She would not often reveal that the loved one is no longer alive, or whether they were a lover, friend, or family member. Roo Borson employs symbols to demonstrate the connection between a chair and a missing loved one. This essay will show the correlation in the poem between a lost loved one. She does not necessarily show that the loved one is dead or whether it was a lover, friend or family member. Roo Borson uses symbols to show the connection between a chair and a lost loved one. This essay will show the correlation in the poem between a lost loved one or a friend deeply missed and a chair.
The author did not use any rhyme scheme. It shows that she is in total disarray from the grief of losing a loved one. The writer intends to show an illogical line of judgment due to grief. From the first two lines, it is clear that the loss of a loved one has completely changed the speakers life. She states that she sees no other way but to change his absence into a chair (Mays 860). Further to this, the use of the his shows that the writer is speaking of a man, most likely a husband or son. Turning his absence into a chair is a way to deal with her lover’s departure as she has no other way of dealing with it. She is directing her anguish into something tangible, the chair. She further explains how she can do nothing else but think of her misery and the chair is her only form of support, because the chair is there (Mays 860). The author is symbolizing her grief with the chair. A chair is solid and stationary. It shows that the speaker does not want to move on with life and is encompassed with grief. In the line the says, .. the chair is there it shows that even though she wants to move on the chair is always there as a constant reminder of her lost loved one (Mays 860). The chair is also her form of support that keeps her from falling. The chair is also most likely a former possession of her lost lover. She sits on it and feels comfort as if her loved one is with her and has a sense of peace at that moment.
The grief and misery expressed in the poem show a devastating impact on the daily life of the writer. She says I can do what I do best, and then go out into the world, the poet is signifying that she spends most of her energy and time grieving and her life plays second fiddle (Mays 860). It seems that the speaker is overwhelmed with her daily activities, her grief is consuming her life hence she returns to the chair to rest (Mays 860). In line seven, she expresses her emotions as useless love (Mays 860). It shows that she accepts the loss and is at a stage of her grief where she can relive the good times and cherish memories of her lost love. The tone is still one of sorrow and self-pity, and everything else seems useless except if she sits on the chair and drowns herself in sadness.
Grieving is either experienced personally or publicly. Personal grieving is retreating and not showing the outside world ones inner emotions. In this poem, the author goes into the outside world and masks her pain and grief only to come back home and find the empty chair and relive her sorrows (Mays 860). Readers hope that the author will get over her grief and move on with her life, forget about the chair and only keep the memories of her lost loved one. However, the last line of the poem, because the chair is there, may only emphasize that the writer is lost in the world of grief (Mays 860).
Mays, J. Kelly. The Norton Introduction to Literature: Shorter Twelfth Edition. W. W. Norton & Company, 2015.