Analyzing the Text
Metallic implies a screeching, artificial sound like a machine. The word “experiment” is a scientific term. Conducting implies that the parents have control, and that something is being manipulated. The diction in the first stanza labels the poem as science fiction.
5pm is the end of afternoon and the beginning of evening, which correlates with the author’s theme of oncoming death (night/ darkness).
The lungs remind the reader that the speaker is annoyed by the sound the brother and sister are creating, though their mother is proud that they are strong and healthy children. Pink indicates that the lungs are healthy.
The speaker suggests that the screams of the children will kill them, which is clear through her reference to Elijah and mention of heaven. The sky is blue on Earth, but the speaker implies that it would be red as the characters ascend (like viewing the sunset), then gold near the sun and black as the sky which holds the stars. This correlates with the common Christian idea that heaven is above the Earth, somewhere in the stars.
The speaker hopes for information about the afterlife. Her mention of a furnace alludes to the possibility of hell. The speaker is anxious to know what lies ahead, and hates that the living do not know but live their lives wondering/ speculating.
If the stereo is playing with the “shuffle” setting, the speaker is impatient because he/she cannot listen to one song/ genre. It also shows that the stereo is what humans listen to, but this is insignificant in comparison with the possibilities of the afterlife.
It suggests that the kids are animalistic or unintelligent. They are unprepared for what lies ahead, like the apes before the journey.
screams, cries, wind, racket, stereo, chopping, hiccough
Screams are associated with pain. Cries; sadness. Wind; quiet, soft, nature. Racket; busy, obnoxious. Stereo: loud, songs, happy. Chopping: repetitive. Hiccough: annoying, natural, surprising.
These sounds and their connotations indicate the unhappiness and bustle (impatience) of the speaker’s life and contrast his/ her wish for constancy and knowledge.