What are reflections on the poem "Death Came to See Me in Hot Pink Pants"?  

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Michael Ugulini eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My reflections on the poem "Death Came to See Me in Hot Pink Pants" by Heather Royes include the

repetition in this poem, which adds to the poem’s power. The repetition of the phrase “Last night, I dreamt that Death came to see me in hot-pink pants” lets the reader know that this dream had a significant impact on the narrator of the poem. She is stressing that this dream happened and that it shook her somewhat – enough to want to elaborate on it and put the experience into words.

 

Repetition causes a reader to more deeply consider what the poet is saying. It’s as if the poet is saying, “Stop and listen, this is important and I’m trying to convey the relevance of this to you in your life situation as well.”

 

Heather Royes also repeats the line “He was a beautiful black saga boy”. She is relating to the reader, by way of the poem’s narrator, that Death, while a lamentable fact of life, was also something beautiful to her as she encountered Death. The repetition of this line – that Death was beautiful – causes the reader to stop (however momentarily) and consider this enigma.

 

In addition, I like the creative title of the poem. The title causes the reader to take a look at Death in a different way – almost a tongue-in-cheek way. Who would ever think that Death would visit someone

 

“in hot-pink pants

and matching waistcoat too.”

 

Many people who attach an image to Death have the image of it as the Grim Reaper, dressed in black, hooded, and with a huge sickle to reap humans from the earth. Also, Heather Royes shows Death as smiling and winking. This is the exact opposite of what people normally associate Death with. Again, the poet turns peoples’ expectations about Death on its head. She has readers think about Death differently through her poem.

 

It’s worth noting that although Death is in hot-pink pants, and is smiling and winking, it is not a benign force at all. Death forces open the door to the narrator’s abode. Death is demanding and unrelenting and a scourge on humankind.

 

Finally, the poet shows that the narrator of the poem is not going to let Death get her without a fight. The narrator resists Death and hits him with a wooden staff. This shows that people will fight to avoid Death and they may succeed for a time, but eventually Death wins out as it is the destiny of all eventually to suffer a physical death.