What Have You Lost? Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 50 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of What Have You Lost?.
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Death

One of the recurring themes throughout this collection of poetry is the theme of death. Since this collection focuses on loss, many poems address the issue of losing someone who is loved through death. This theme takes several different methods, such as sadness, denial, remembrance, and happiness. In William I. Elliott's "David," David threw the softball into the gutter just as Dad called them into dinner last fall. It is still there, as is the old cat's cradle in the apple tree and a grubby balsam glider wing in the rot of the roof's shingles. "If what we do is what we are, you're all over the place... If what we do is who we are, you're still home with us, more than underground" (p. 6). "David" claims that the author's brother is not really dead because he still lives in the hearts and home of his family.

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This section contains 1,828 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
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