How would you describe the general picture painted by the poet? Is it cheerful?

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The poem "The Niche" by Samuel Menashe does not seem to be a cheerful one. In fact, it seems the speaker is tired to the point of weariness. The speaker mentions the space narrowing, which sounds very unpleasant. It brings to mind anxiety and suffocation. Eventually the narrowed space "hones one thin," which sounds like the speaker believes the narrowing of the niche can cause a sharpening in a person's spirit. Finally, the passageway has become so narrow that only a person's bones can fit into the space, bringing to mind death and the dismal reality that all people return to bones, no matter how long they live. Overall "The Niche" is a shrewd observation of life and what a person's journey will do to their full, vibrant expectations of youth. I'd say it sounds quite melancholy. For more information on Samuel Menashe, see the link below.

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