Monday, December 3, 2012

The Art Of Drowning Analysis


“The Art of Drowning” by Billy Collins is a nicely written poem about what happens as someone is approaching a quick, untimely death such as drowning. Collins wonders where the idea of one’s life flashing before their eyes before they die came from and whether or not it is something that really happens in an unfortunate death. He also wonders how one’s life will flash before their eyes.
            Collins wonders how a person’s mind can compress their entire life’s experiences into the last final seconds of their existence. He also ponders the different ways that he thinks a person’s life could be displayed in these last few seconds. Would it be like an invisible hand turning the pages of a photograph album, a short animated film, a slide presentation, or would your life be expressed in an essay, or in one model photograph? He wonders if each person has a different experience or if there is a set function in your brain that just compiles all of you life’s memories into a single flash before your eyes as you are about to die.
            He also thinks that it would happen so fast that people would imagine that their life would take longer to see in a flash and would be disappointed by the flash before their eyes. He also mentions that survivors of tragic experiences will make people believe that it is an amazing experience to have before you die. Ultimately Collins believes that there is no flash of light or memories compiled before your eyes. He believes that if you are drowning in any body of water the last thing that you will see before you die will probably be the curved silver flash of a fish swimming away from you having nothing to do with your life or death and the water will accept you as part of it now.

Another critical essay about the poem

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