Post September 15, 2009, 10:15:46 PM

Decade by J. B. Hogan

Response to “Decade”

Theme: The question for me with this poem is what is the theme? Futility in the face of time? The poem seems to be a straight forward description of a person on a lonely walk that comes to a set of railroad tracks and given the choice to walk in opposite directions, finds that the choice doesn’t really matter.

There are words that suggest a contemplative mood: the walker is alone, an empty lot, a quiet street, the jet stream is silent. This contrasts with the sound of doves that emphasize the walker’s pain, which is ironically mute. There are also hints of death: the person walks past a cemetery, and in the last stanza is described as having a funereal walk.

The last stanza, having the railroad tracks going off in opposite directions brings to mind Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” which is about the choices in life and the consequences of those choices.

Title: So is the poem about the new decade or old? Is the walker looking forward or looking back? The new decade is mentioned in the poem in reference to the trail of the jet. At a minimum I think the title brings the element of time into the poem and makes time’s effect on the walker important.

Very good poem, as usual J.B.