What is "The Ball Poem" by John Berryman talking about?

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"The Ball Poem" is arguably about the process of dealing with death for the first time. The ball in the poem symbolizes a life that is lost. When the ball is lost, in the water of the harbor, the boy "stands rigid, trembling," and is clearly in shock. It is no use thinking, "O there are other balls," because the ball that he has lost, like a life that might be lost, was unique and irreplaceable. As the boy looks into the water, contemplating death and loss, he imagines that not only the ball, but also "All his young days" have been lost in the water. The implication here is that when one first experiences the death of a loved one, it can feel as if all of one's carefree days have also been lost forever. One's life is now irreversibly marked with death.

Toward the end of the poem the speaker remarks that,...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 456 words.)

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