The Gas Poker Poem Analysis

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In 1944, the most unimaginable tragic event occurred when Gunn was just in his early teens. His mother died by her own hand by inhaling fumes from a gas poker, a device that was used to light coal in the days before central heating. The brothers were both upstairs in the same room and it was all quiet downstairs. When they went down, they saw a note pinned to the door of the sitting room saying that they should take the help of the charwoman, Mrs. Stoney. The two, however, pushed the door open with great difficulty because of a bureau and several other things pushed against it. Both stood aghast at the terrible sight. Their mother was lying on the floor with a gas poker rigid over her face with a rug over her mouth. And the place was full of gas. It was all packed with newspapers to stop the gas from getting out. ‗Rigor Mortis‘ (that is,…show more content…
―The Gas-poker‖ is a poem that describes his mother‘s suicide and of his and his brother‘s discovery of her body. It is a story he had not told in print, a kind of poem he had not written. But he was able to make the genre over in his own manner. Gunn gives up the first person here. The experience in ―The Gas-poker‖ is first-hand, but there is little to mark the poem as a piece of autobiography, except for its placement after a short poem, a prelude to it, called ―My Mother‘s Pride‖. He was much closer to his mother than he was to his father, and in San Francisco he had kept a picture of her, holding him as a baby, over his desk. His younger brother Ander had gone to see him sometime in 1984 and Gunn had told him that he‘d only just stopped dreaming about his mother. Ander was shocked to hear this and thought it was terrible. He wondered how even after several years had gone by Gunn was still dreaming about her. So the death of his mother had never left Gunn and in
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