I Could Have By Wistawa Szymborska Meaning

Decent Essays

The Belittling of Death
Lao Tzu once said, “Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides”
Death can cause the thread of life to end; however, when life ends, death starts.
There is no life without death just as there is no death without life.
Life and death are intertwined.
The quote ties into the poem because both depict a connection between life and death; both have an impact on the other.
The quote states that life and death are one and the same whereas the poem states that they have similar qualities but are separate entities.
Thesis: In Wistawa Szymborska’s poem “Could Have,” she illustrates the limits of death through utilizing details, personification, and irony suggesting that death—like life itself—is flawed.
The details that Szymborska chose to include in this poem highlight the constraints of death.
Death is death, so it obviously has no idea what life is like due to the fact that it has never been alive.
Life is full of actions and happiness whereas death can be defined as a lack of those same things.
“It can't take a joke, / find a star, make a bridge. / It knows nothing about weaving, mining, farming, / building ships, or baking cakes” (lines 1-4)
The author may be implying that death is ignorant because it knows nothing about life and what it means to be alive.
By including details about life, Szymborska further distanced death from life which in turn makes it look pitiful and creates doubt in the reader’s mind about

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