This poem deals with the themes of love and loss. The title, like the first stanza, seems almost innocuous and gives no hint of the dark, melancholic end to the poem.
While the initial lines are indeed focused on the
Sounds of the Day, they disguise the darker undertones contained within the verses.
The closing door is an important image in the poem and introduces the theme of loss and parting.
The parallel structure of the sentences in the opening stanza is suddenly disrupted - the door,
scraped shut, is not linked to something straightforward, it stands for the significance of parting.
For the speaker, the separation is significant and painful. He feels his life has been changed and his senses have been altered forever.
MacCaig explores how parting affects us in a profound way. He captures both the initial, difficult pain of a break-up but also the lasting effect such experiences can have on us.
Ironically, it is the rawness of this pain that helps to emphasise the intensity of emotion the relationship brought.
Love is often depicted in poetry positively, yet this love has resulted only in pain and heartbreak, leaving the reader to consider whether this relationship has been worth the pain of parting.