The Death of a Friend
The predominant element of Brian Haner’s “So Far Away” is the language used by the speaker to convey to the reader how he feels about the loss of a close, beloved friend. The tone used by the speaker contains a melancholy feel that shows how profound the loss of a loved one can be. The speaker switches from iambic tetrameter, when using language to describe the fallen friend, to iambic dimeter, when speaking directly to the friend as if he is still alive. The tone of the narrative helps describe how difficult it is for the speaker to move on from such a staggering loss, and also demonstrates hope that they will be reunited in the afterlife.
In the opening stanza, ...view middle of the document...
In lines 9 and 10, the speaker simply asks: “Will you stay / Will you stay away forever?” The poet is asking his friend directly if they will ever see each other again. The forthcoming two stanzas form the main idea of the poem. The speaker tries to figure out how to move on even though he feels like things have been left incomplete:
How do I live,
Without the ones I love?
Time still turn the pages,
Of the book it’s burned (11-14).
These four lines show how the speaker is struggling with continuing his life without someone who he has spent his whole life with, and has immeasurable for. The speaker also uses another metaphor in comparing his friend’s life to a book whose pages have been burned. In lines 17 and 18 of the next stanza, the poet reveals that he never got to tell his friend how much he loved him: “I have so much to say / But you’re so far away”.
Now the speaker reverts back to the iambic tetrameter used in the first two stanzas, but now develops a distinct rhyme scheme of aabaccdd. This rhyme scheme helps the narrative flow more naturally to the reader than the free flowing rhyme scheme he uses earlier. He discusses growing up with his friend and daydreaming about how their lives would turn out: “Plans of what our futures hold/ Foolish lies of growing old” (19-20). The poet speaks of the common belief, shared by most young people, that they are infallible and will never die: “It seems we’re so invincible / The truth is so cold” (21-22). After describing their childhood, the speaker talks of trying to “find a place” where is his friend can live on forever: “Where you can stay / You can stay awake forever” (27-28).
The stanza that follows is perhaps one of the most important in the entire poem, because it gives insight into the speaker’s personal beliefs about spirituality and the afterlife. The speaker again begins talking directly to his dead friend, even though he is already gone: “Sleep tight I’m not afraid / The ones that we love are here with me”...