The Furthest Distances I’ve Travelled

(Note that analyses can vary widely, hence these annotations must only be used in conjunction with your own analyses).

Annotations of The Furthest Distances I’ve Travelled by Leontia Flynn


Summary of the poem:

Title: Use of superlative shows the importance of this realisation. Autobiographical. Distances suggest physical distance, but contradicts this since the poem doesn’t really talk about physical distances.

Tone: bittersweet nostalgic towards the end, realisation of loneliness. 1st POV.

Summary: The speaker reminisces about her time as a free traveler who backpacked around the world. Being older, however, she realises that the most memorable journeys of her life are emotional — her exploration of people and her relationships with them, reflected in the little ‘souvenirs’ and tidbits that reflect these relationships.

Structure: No regular metre. 1st part, varying sentence lengths and no rhyme scheme, shows instability. More regular in the second part, organised line length. Settled down, found answers.

Themes: Relationships, transition (from a time as an explorer to a stable life)

Devices used: double meanings (meridian), mention of isolated places, simile, metaphor(ical language), half-rhymes, semantic field of travel.

Links to other poems: An Easy Passage, A Minor Role (meaning of life)


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