Can someone please help me analyze the poem "A Door" by W.S. Merwin?This is a place where a door might be here where I am standing In the light outside all the walls there would be a shadow here...

Can someone please help me analyze the poem "A Door" by W.S. Merwin?

This is a place where a door might be here where I am standing In the light outside all the walls there would be a shadow here all day long and a door into it where now there is me and somebody would come and knock on this air long after I have gone and there in front of me a life would open

Asked on by jaspworld

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mitchrich4199 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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This poem sings with longing to be noticed and loved. The poet's use of the door for the speaker illustrates that he is standing, waiting desperately for someone to come and open up to him.

In the first stanza, the speaker is alone, standing in a space where he feels he should be noticed:

This is a place where a door might be
here where I am standing
In the light outside all the walls

He is ready to be spoken to, but perhaps the reason that no one is speaking to him is this same fact; he is waiting, rather than opening up to others.

In the second stanza, he's still standing, but in the form of a shadow. He feels he's a shadow, "where now there is me."

Finally, in the third stanza, he illustrates that he has a lot to offer, if someone would just take a look:

and somebody would come and knock
on this air
long after I have gone
and there in front of me a life
would open

The mention of his leaving illustrates his desperation and the idea that someone might miss out if they don't "knock on this air" soon. Herein, we see the desperation mentioned above.

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