Many have felt loss and grief within their lives, as much as Michael Lassell narrated and defined in his poem “How to Watch Your Brother Die For Carl Morse.” It is indeed a heavy burden for a person to feel when a circumstance would promote such behavior. Even so, it is highly encourage to feel such a depressing emotion, in order for the person to appreciate the finer and smaller details of his or her relationship with others, especially those who have died, or things, to which they have been broken and impossible to repair. Attachment seems to be the one that enables people to feel loss and grief. When detached, it unlocks the dam filled with emotions and lets it flow within the person’s system, until it overflows. In the following poem by Lassell, he discussed the feeling of loss and grief as an integral part of human life, since it enables the person to detach the ones lost and move on with his or her life.
The persona’s tone throughout the poem seemed emotionless, and it dictates the actions of the characters. The persona is in command of the events; what the characters would say and should say within the given circumstances. The persona’s tone is emotionless, as though it is just a passive observer to which it describes what can be seen within the given setting. The persona dictates the actions, or at least describes it to the point that it instructs the reader to place themselves on the protagonist’s shoes and do what was instructed. The persona speaks to the readers on a neutral tone since it is nothing more than just a witness to the transpiring events.
Certain lines point out that the author used the Third-person limited perspective as his point of view for the poem. It permits the persona (the narrator or author) to observe the events and describe them, but he is not allowed to participate within the events, which are quite evident within first person perspectives. It also permits the reader to be place within the situation of the protagonist, as if they were him: “Say to your wife, ‘My brother is dying. I have to fly / to California’” (2-3). It simply explains how the author places readers into the protagonist’s world, in order to feel the gravity of loss and grief that the character carries.
The poem was quite striking, as I read through the lines. It made me feel a certain degree in relation to what the main character was feeling. I could just imagine how he felt when a person that was so dear and close to him, died or was gradually dying. It has been indirectly mentioned that they had an argument; he probably disowned his brother for being a homosexual. However, he was not able to ask his brother’s forgiveness or did not wish to, before this ill-fate happened upon him. Hence, the burden of loss and grief seemed heavier upon him; although, he maintained his composure throughout the piece except for that instance with the border guard. His brother’s lover told him how to tolerate hatred. The feeling of loss and grief that Lassell described was not new. I had experienced many of those within my life. The loss of a pet, a relative, or even something that I highly valued. Grief is the dominating emotion or feeling that comes after loss. However, being in a lot of similar situations, I have grown used to such emotions. Maybe, it is needed for someone to progress further within their life or enable people to appreciate what was already there; the smaller details within their lives. Maybe, the author wanted to tell us about the importance of these two.
In my opinion, the author and his poem were able to convince me about the importance of loss and grief, and how such emotions were inevitable. The author used a familiar situation, in which to discuss his view on loss and grief, that the readers could easily relate to. He also places the readers within the main character’s perspective, in order to let them feel the loss and grief that the character carries within him. In the end, he lets go of loss and grief as an integral part of the world, and how it enables people to appreciate life, which is quite appealing for anyone to know about.
Lassell, Michael. “How To Watch Your Brother Die For Carl Morse.” Latelyontime. Live Journal. 28 May 2009. <http://latelyontime.livejournal.com/154315.html>