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Poetry (9th grade)

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This is a poem by Alice Walker and a question at the end but I can't figure out the question.

Poem title: "Good Night, Willie Lee, I'll see you in the morning."

Looking down into my father's
dead face
for the last time
my mother said without
tears, without smiles
without regrets
but with civility
"Good night, Willie, Lee I'll see you
in the morning."
And it was then I knew that the healing
of all our wounds
is forgiveness
that permits a promise
of our return
at the end

Question: Consider the death in "Good Night, Willie Lee, I'll see you in the morning." Is any unfinished business here? Explain

  • Poetry (9th grade) -

    "unfinished business" means things that weren't said that needed to be said. Things that weren't done that needed to have been done. After someone dies we will never be able to do those things...so they will always be "unfinished". What do you think the mother might not have said or done?

  • Poetry (9th grade) -

    I see strong religious overtones in this poem. (It reminds me of the endgin of the movie (and book) "A Man Called Peter" by Catherine Marshall which is discussed here by a reviewer:
    http://www.amazon.com/review/R901585I6YHX9
    The part about "healing of wounds", forgiveness and "return at the end" also seem to have a Christian theme.

    I don't see much about unfinished business, other than the power of forgiveness, in the poem.

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