What are the major themes of the poem "Morning in the Burned House" by Margaret Atwood?

One major theme of the poem "Morning in the Burned House" by Margaret Atwood is regret. The speaker examines the details of a life she formerly shared with her family and mourns the loss of a shared sense of intimacy.

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Themes of regret and loss permeate the poem "Morning in the Burned House." In fact, the title cleverly capitalizes on the homophone, and readers can understand the lamentations of "mourning" in the burned house as the speaker narrates her losses.

Regret is key to the speaker's feelings of mourning. She has lost her family, unsure where her siblings and parents have gone. The reminders of the life they all once shared provide painful reminders of a happier time. The speaker notices "dishes piled beside the sink," conjuring images of shared meals and warmth. She notes the "tin cup" and the "rippled mirror," both reflective objects that now echo her feelings of loss.

There is a sense that the speaker didn't appreciate the simple moments while they existed. Now, she has returned to a place where only memories remain and "where everything / in this house has long been over." The day is described as "bright and songless," images which juxtapose a sense of radiance with a feeling of emptiness....

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 965 words.)

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