Summary of Gopi Sapkota’s Visiting a Country Churchyard
Writer: Gopi Sapkota
Education: M.A. in English Literature
Nationality: Nepali (Now in London)
The speaker has gone to the graveyard in order to mourn in the death of Mr. Gray. Out of homage or tribute he has gone there. But as soon as he reaches there, he becomes self-expressive. He forgets that he has gone for grave and begins to lament on the ‘self’. And this self-reflexivity has transformed this poem into anti-elegy. It begins like an elegy but ends with anti-elegy. A question arises why the poet transforms this poem into anti-elegy.
The anti-elegiac mode of the poetry has been used to project death as the great equalizer of human beings. It is the death which erases the demarcation created between and among the human beings. Mr. Gray has gone to his tomb and speaker is on the way along with his relatives, friends and enemies. That is to say, we all of us are on the way to the death. The speaker neither laments for nor glorifies for the protagonist. By doing that he is trying to convey a message that death is a natural phenomenon which befalls everyone. The use of refrain clearly indicates that everyone is mortal. So, the poem deliberately avoids the lamentation.