English as a Second Language/poem


Life, death, - death, life; the words have lead for ages
Our thoughts and consciousness and firmly seemed
Two opposites; but now long-hidden pages
Are opened, liberating truths and undreamed.
Life only is, or death is life disguised,
Life a short death until by life we are surprised.


Hi there, i have this poem in my English book but i don't understand what this stanza means.

could you please please explain me what is the problem that the poet poses initially? I need to know what is the problem that the poet is trying to tell us.

thank you

thank you for this question, but I believe this is a homework question, and this falls beyond the purpose of this site.
Furthermore, this has little to do with ESL and it is more of an English literature question - not my area of expertise.
Best of my abilities, here's what I think about that poem
- the poet is trying to explain (by using a series of metaphors) his/her understanding of life and death - two opposite concepts. Also the poet sees the two - life and death - as interchangeable, or as actually having opposite meanings than those we normally or usually attribute them - in other words real long lasting, eternal life only begins after death, while in real life, we are actually dead and awaiting to be awakened to "life"
Hope this helps to some extent.
Amy Baker

English as a Second Language

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Amy Baker


I can answer question about grammar, spelling, syntax, idioms, reading and/or writing that pertain to English as a Second Language. I am knowledgeable about both TOEFL and IELTS.


I'm a certified ESL teacher with 12 years of experience teaching K-12 and adults.

BSc MEd TESL post grad program for k-12 TESL post grad program for adult ed

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