Some more descriptive analytical data, here focusing on external form
Lyric “I” speaker.
The speaker is not a persona, but an older version of the “I” in the poem.
There is no clear rhyme scheme.
Every stanza but the last includes three lines, usually of pentameter, and the last two lines form a rhyming couplet broken up by a stanza break.
The diction is plain.
The speaker describes every scene.
There is evidence of caesura and enjambment.
The use of enjambment is far more frequent, with many thoughts running over the end of poetry lines. The third line, and also the final two lines, are end-stopped.
Some more descriptive analytical data, here focusing on imagery and figures
The first stanza references the speaker “Counting bells knelling classes to a close” (2).
The image can be read metaphorically, whereby the knelling bells might be compared to bells that toll at a funeral, and whereby the vehicle “classes” can be compared with the tenor “life”.
Many phrases draw attention to the passage of time.
See, for example, most of the first stanza, as well as the reference to “ten o’clock [when] the ambulance arrived” (and 14), the “[n]ext morning” 916) and “the first time in six weeks” (18).
Also, many descriptions indicate the age of characters.
The sixth stanza includes a personification.
See “[s]nowdrops/[a]nd candles [which] soothed the bedside” (16-17).
The seventh stanza uses a metaphor to describe the boy’s fatal injury as “a poppy bruise” (19).
(tenor = injury/bruise, vehicle = poppy, ground = the colour red, cause of forgetfulness, something small, yet powerful.
Some preliminary argumentative statements
The pattern of the three-line stanza is disrupted at the end of the poem, and many lines make use of enjambment,
reinforcing the idea that the death of a child disrupts normal conceptions of the life cycle.
The metaphor of the “poppy bruise” (19) calls to mind opium and forgetfulness,
suggesting the way poem focuses on how to manage grief.
Although the diction matches the plain speech of a young man, the complexity of the literary figures, together with the frequent references to the passage of time and people’s ages,
indicates the implicit perspective of an older speaker who is reflecting on a family tragedy from an emotional distance.