Death is nothing at all is actually a poem by Henry Holland Scott. He was, of course, a poet, and this poem is one of his most popular creations.
You know, when I first read the poem, It seemed pretty easy to understand. So, Apparently, it looks like he had imagined his death for a long time, and he is consoling his beloved or someone that is grieving over his death.
The words are kind and full of emotions. If you have a negative perception of death, it will be changed. I know most of us to have the same perception about death.
Death is the ultimate thing that we fear the most. Seeing a ghost or falling from somewhere, what do you think at that time? What if I die? Isn’t it?
It does not matter what people say, but I know that we all fear death. We are the dumbest creatures who curse our lives for the things that we didn’t have, and when it’s time to go, we wish, if only if we could stay for more.
But the author’s perception is pretty different from ours. He seems to be happy about it. Why? Let’s find out then!
Poet’s Feelings Behind the Lines
So, let’s start with the apparent meaning of the lines of the poem. In the first stanza, the poet is saying that death is nothing. There is no reason to be afraid of it. We should not be sad about death but happy.
But if you move further, you will be able to see the reason behind his positive attitude toward death.
He is saying that love is nothing but an interval. It is just leaving one room and going to the other. Yes, things are pretty different there.
But one thing is constant, and that is the relationship the listener shares with the poet. He again consoles the person and says that he is just like before, and so is the person.
Nothing has changed. Not even the beautiful life that they have spent together. They will do that again but after a while. There is nothing to mourn about anything because he is there just like before.
It seems that someone is grieving his loss. It can be a break-up or death. The speaker is either the one who is dead or the one who is mourning over the death of someone.
You must be wondering why I suddenly shifted from the poet to the speaker. I did that because both people are different.
What is the Difference Between the Poet and the Speaker?
The poet is obviously the person who has written this amazing poetry. But have you noticed the lines? It feels like someone is talking. It is not necessary that the poet himself is conveying these thoughts.
When I say speaker, I detach the person from the poet whose emotions the poet has decided to convey. It can be the poet as well.
So, how would one know? Choose any option you like.
In the remaining stanzas of the poem, the poet says that life will be the same and it will mean the same as before.
He does want to be out of his mind because he is out of sight. Life is all about celebration, and nothing can change that.
Apart from that, he considers death to be nothing but an accident that leads to separation. But the separation is nothing but an interval, and it will all be fine.
They will meet after that with happiness in their heart and bliss in their mind. Life will again be amazing, and till that day, they should just remember the good old days they spent together and laugh.
After all, life will not change its rules. It does not matter whether he is here or not. One thing is constant, and that is the memories. Death may have separated them, but nothing can remove the memories.
Have you already started feeling positive about death and life? Well, I think you have finally gotten out of your existential crisis zone. It is a good thing, though.
What Is the Poet/Speaker Trying to Convey
It seems that in this poetry, the poet is grieving over someone’s death, and he is trying to cope with the situation by imagining that he is dead and his beloved is waiting for him.
By saying all these positive things, he is reminding himself that there is another life behind death and there is no death. He will no longer have to be separated from the person, and they can finally relive the moments.
Meanwhile, he needs to wait. Wait for the reunion.
Okay, this is one scenario. What else could be his emotions behind writing this poem? Are you able to track it?
You know, I think that it reflects the speaker’s suicidal intentions. You tell me why is he imagining his death and giving condolences to the loved ones?
He is literally saying that the people who are reading should remember him because they will reunite soon. This means that when the person to whom the poem was intended dies, they will be able to meet the speaker.
Just imagine! A poem with two different interpretations. One is nothing but imagination, and one is something very intense and frightening. I must say, it is art in its best forms.
So, would you write a poem like this for your lover? Or would it be a song like Taylor Swift’s? It’s the time for lyrical poems, right?
You know, if you are a hopeless romantic, you can write stunning things. Why? Come on! Everybody knows how good we are at thinking too much!
Haha! Just kidding. The power of imagination and conveying thoughts is rare. So, if you have, don’t put the poetries in the box. Publish it! Let us see what you think about life, I know it would be amazing!