The poem 'Long Distance' by Tony Harrison conveys a sense of emotional distress that his father feels after the loss of his wife. Initially, Harrison explores the effects that his mother's death has had on his father. However the final verse expresses the poet's own feelings and actions and admits that they are similar to that of his fathers.
The title of the poem 'Long Distance' could represent his parent's relationship now that she's gone. The relationship is 'long distance' as his mother is in heaven and his father is on earth. It is possible that his father sees this distance as one he can easily cross. Evidence for this is in the final verse when we realize that he too has died, so he has crossed over and joined his wife. Another explanation of the title could be that the relationship between his parents had lasted a long time.
As a result they had travelled the 'long distance,' and experienced situations together.
This poem is made up of four stanzas. Each stanza has four lines. We call each verse a quatrain. The line length in this poem is consistent as every line has between seven to ten words. The first three stanzas follow the rhyming pattern a,b,a,b. The first line rhymes with the third line and the second line rhymes with the fourth line. These three stanzas are about the way his father is coping with life without his wife. The last stanza changes to a,b,b,a. The first line rhymes with the last line and the second line rhymes with the third line. The meaning of this verse has altered as it is not examples of his father's emotional suffering but the poet's own thoughts, feelings and actions.
Another way in which the poet uses the structure to maintain...