This grounding way of writing can be seen in the poem “Walking the Ashes” where while walking around carrying his father’s ashes he says: “well daddy, I’m still on my feet” (line 30) indicating that even though his father is dead he is still alive and he is encouraged to live his life. In contrast, on the next line - 31, he gets into a cab because it was really hot outside and his arms hurt as the ashes were heavy, symbolizing that he is giving up on the first obstacle that he faces. In the first line Halliday is trying to make his dad proud that he is not giving up on life – he is still on his feet even if his dad passed away, but on the next one, he is not interested in impressing his father anymore, thus he chooses the easy way home.
Another example of this peculiarity can be identified in the poem “Three Flaws”. In the lines 49-51 (“Nevert...
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...s it shows that the conversation is written down exactly as it happened.
Another poem of Hallidays that is worth mentioning is “It Was Not Him”, in which he deals with his inability to believe that it’s his father that passed away. Whenever he uses the word “him”, he puts a dash after it “it was not him -” (line 5) and “and the tiny dirty kitchen and angle him -” (line 14). By using this dash repetition after the word “him” Halliday guides the reader to emphasis on the fact that he denies to talk about his father death and that he is the one in the black bag going down the elevator and the black bag now starts its journey in South Manhattan.
Mark Halliday in his collection “Keep this Forever” uses more or less the same writing style and form in the majority of his poems. He is inspired from everyday life events. Another source of inspiration is his father’s death.
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