After Lives By: Derek mahon

The poem Put into my words: I wake up in my dark apartment to the sounds of outside./ Pigeons Kissing on the roofs while i close my curtains and look over london freshly rained on in the morning light./ We are in our element, The exact reason why we hope for the long term solution./ The speakers speak, the violence in the back street are heard everywhere. Faith does not fade, In the time this will astound The students in their non religious schools. and the corrupt places be lighten up with artist creativity, when good triumphs./ What working class twits we must be to think for even a second that our ideals is divine wisdom, and the dim appears in the city we are not./ I will go home on boat for the first time in forever./ Someone plays the guitar on the deck, meanwhile a gull sleeps at the mast, The moon shined on the waves./ In the morning the ship shakes, goes into a wide arc, it shudders through the grey lough, past the lightship and buoy, slipway and dry dock, where a uncovered light shines, I step ashore in the fine rain to a city that has changed by five years of war, i barley recognized The places I had my childhood at, the faces that try to explain./ The hills remained the sky above Belfast./ Maybe if i stayed behind and stayed bomb by bomb, I might have matured and learned what home means.

(The poem in it's wonderful original wording will be at the bottom, sorry That i made a mistake.)

Belfast Ireland After "Bloody Friday"

Figurative language

Personification:"The faith does not die." It is personification because faith cannot die, it is an idea not a living organism.


Derek uses the word "Twits" In the middle of the poem, to show how unaware or "silly" (it says that in the definition on google) The people were.


The first sentence "I wake in a dark flat to the soft roar of the world." Shows imagery by him telling us how he hears the "soft roar" of the world, by telling us how he heard the streets outside. He is creating a mood of normality by putting in this phrase "The soft roar of the world"

The tone of "Afterlives" is very simple to find the tone. It is one of hope. he talks about how faith doesn't die, and how 

Representation of the title. "After lives" Just by the title would make you think its about a dead person, your wrong.its about a man coming to his bombed home town and how he sees it. And how he still feels hopeful.


The theme is him coming home and, how he still feels hopeful. It Talks about how faith doesn't die. He says In the first section of the poem "The Orators yap, and guns go off in a back street But the faith does not die." He is talking about how made it gets may it be people talking or violence in the streets there still is faith. Like I said before The theme is him him coming home to see it has been bombed and all the devastation has happened, but he still holds onto hope.

I wake in a dark flat

To the soft roar of the world.

Pigeons neck on the white

Roofs as I draw the curtains

And look out over London

Rain-fresh in the morning light.

This is our element, the bright

Reason on which we rely

For the long-term solutions.

The orators yap, and guns

Go off in a back street

But the faith does not die

That in our time these things

Will amaze the literate children

In their non-sectarian schools

And the dark places be

Ablaze with love and poetry

When the power of good prevails.

What middle-class twits we are

To imagine for one second

That our privileged ideals

Are divine wisdom, and the dim

Forms that kneel at noon

In the city not ourselves.


I am going home by sea

For the first time in years.

Somebody thumbs a guitar

On the dark deck, while a gull

Dreams at the mast-head,

The moon-splashed waves exult.

At dawn the ship trembles, turns

In a wide arc to back

Shuddering up the grey lough

Past lightship and buoy,

Slipway and dry dock

Where a naked bulb burns

And I step ashore in a fine rain

To a city so changed

By five years of war

I scarcely recognize

The places I grew up in,

The faces that try to explain.

But the hills are still the same

Grey-blue above Belfast.

Perhaps if I’d stayed behind

And lived it bomb by bomb

I might have grown up at last

And learnt what is meant by home.


Created with images by skeeze - "milky way andromeda stars" • derwiki - "london parliament england" • Unsplash - "city cityscape skyline"

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