Summary for PoemIn the sort Poem How to Watch Your Brother Die by Michael Lassell what are some Key points about this story?

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vangoghfan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This poem might be termed an "elegy," a word associated in our day with poems of mourning -- poems that commemorate the dead. It is unrhymed and has no predictable, regular pattern of rhyme or meter. This lack of regular form is relevant to its content, since the poem deals with the ultimate disorder and chaos of death. At the same time, the speaker tries to impose some order and control over his experiences by repeatedly telling himself what to do. This repetition itself becomes part of the rhythm of the poem.  Yet often, when he tells himself what to do, the experience to which he is responding is suprising and unpredictable, both to him and to us. The tone of the poem is controlled and understated; this is not a hysterical declaration of grief. The tone is dignified and is itself a kind of tribute to the dead brother.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
The story of the poem is a sibling coming to terms with a homosexual brother who is dying of Aids. He does what he can to delay the inevitable, even going to Mexico for drugs. In the end he learns about his brother, but it's too late. The brother still dies.