What I Would Ask My Husband's Dead Father Themes

Sharon Hashimoto
This Study Guide consists of approximately 19 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of What I Would Ask My Husband's Dead Father.
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Rituals of Death

The occasion of the death of her husband's father and the delay in taking care of his ashes prompts the speaker to reflect on the rituals that accompany death and on the notion of an afterlife. The poem also touches on the difficulty of understanding the change that comes about in death. It is easy to remember a person from photographs or from a familiar memory, but it is not so easy to imagine what they have become or how they might live on. There is agnosticism about the speaker's attitude; she admits that she does not know what to believe, and the occurrence of the word "perhaps" twice in the second verse adds to the open-ended possibilities. There is no theological or religious dogmatism in the poem, but there is a willingness to be open even if that means living with uncertainties.

The poem suggests...

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This section contains 699 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the What I Would Ask My Husband's Dead Father Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
What I Would Ask My Husband's Dead Father from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.