Form and structure

This poem is written in free verse. Like all of MacCaig’s poetry, the themes and central ideas are readily accessible through conversational style and simple language.

Written from a first person stance in the past tense, the poem is divided by stanzas into three main sections:

  • In the first stanza, the speaker introduces the subject of his meditation, the death of a loved one.
  • In the second he reflects and explores the impact of this painful experience.
  • In the final stanza, he reaches a conclusion of sorts, reiterating the assertion made in the first line - her death is everywhere, ever present.

The fluidity and looseness of the structure also helps to reinforce the key message of the poem which focuses on death and the grieving process.

Death of a loved one itself represents a formlessness, a loss of structure, the disintegration of close bonds of love and affection. Hence the poet reflects on this in the way he constructs the poem.