Poem Analysis: 'They Are Not Us' By Mark Holiday

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“Not us” by Mark Holiday, depicts a man’s denial and confusion on death after hearing about an elderly couple who are hospitalized. He tries convincing his beloved that death will not come, but finally he accepts that death will sadly approach everyone. By using repetition, he emphasis his confusion and denial. He does this by repeating the phrase, “They are not us” in different ways creating a distinctive affect each time it is used. Different forms of repetition and symbolism, creates tension within the speaker which helps him realize that death is like a spiraling “Get Well” card ready to slide under someone’s door, helping deflate the tension he has within him. Repetition helps create reassurance within him, making him feel as if he is…show more content…
He tires his hardest to come up with evidence to support himself against death. In line nine through thirteen we see him trying to distract himself from the idea of death coming, he states, “To begin with, they are at least twenty-three years older than us…” After the word “us” he uses a hyphen helping farther himself from the elderly couple. It also represents a break that he needs to take to re-evaluate his evidence against death, but he realizes that his proof is not worthy. In line eighteen through twenty-two he tries to find justification but at this point he knows his argument is not getting anywhere. He says, “it’s just—in the hospital that’s them and we are simply the ones who send them a soberly attractive card…” The hyphen used between just and in, gives a tone of frustration, he seems ready to give up because he knows that he has no refutation to what he has to say. As he is says, “it’s just—in the hospital that’s them”, it seems that he is struggling to say these words, he is pulling them out of his mouth one by one. Once he reaches “them” he reaches a sense of relief, his last effort of trying to persuade himself. Repetition was used to represent the confusion he had with death but the get well card is used to symbolize the acceptance of death. In his last stanza in which he explains the card going under his door, we see that he completely gave up with his argument and started accepting
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