The speaker is reluctant to accept their friend's fate.
1.2 "help". Tech: Verb.
Conveys their desperation. They're in need of assistance.
1.3 "your white lips". Tech: adjective.
The colour white connotes purity, hope, brightness and innocence. But in this sense it's in relation to illness, they're like a ghost. It tells us the person is dying.
1.4 "my dear". Tech: Repetition.
Suggests the urgency of the person. They aren't ready and dont' want to die.
2 2nd Stanza
2.1 "harboured a fierce pain". Tech:
Metaphor and adjective.
A corridor can't harbour pain, so it's a metaphor. It's probably a hospital corridor. The quote conveys how much suffering has occured there.
"harboured" usuallt means keeping something safe and protecting it. This contrasts with "fierce pain".
2.2 "frenzied prayers". Tech:
Religious language and
"frenzied" portrays the desperation and fear. They're praying to Chemistry - they're hoping for a cure or treatment that works.
2.3 "hysterical, out of your
skull". Tech: adjective.
"hysterical" suggests them being either very upset or being deranged. Alternatively they might laugh over-enthusiastically.
"out of your skull" is ambiguous. It bears similarity to the phrase 'out of your mind'. So, it's possible the patient was going mad. Subsurdising 'mind' with "skull' implies a loss of self/lack of personality and it symbolises/foreshadows the loss of life.
"skull" obviously connotes skeletons and therefore dead bodies/death in general.
2.4 "laughed, a child-man's laugh,
innocent, hysterical, out of
your skull". Tech: Listing.
The description of his laugh descends, becoming more negative with each description.
This could symbolise decay and the change from health to illness, and then to death.
2.5 "only a
The speaker can't separate reality from fiction.
2.6 "I heard myself".
Like an outer-body experience.
2.7 "nuture a virus".
Look after and care for the virus. He fed it by having unsafe sex. His body's looking after the virus until it kills him.
3 3rd Stanza
3.1 "dream". Tech: Repetition.
Their friend can onlt be met in thought not in reality as they have passed away.
3.2 Line breaks.
These show that conjuring up their memories is difficult and painful.
3.3 "you look well". Tech:
Direct speech and
The speaker might be trying to encourage their friend here.
4 4th Stanza
4.1 "where there's life..." Tech:
Punctuation and incomplete cliché.
This is an incomplete cliché because there is no hope. The ellipsis replaces hope. The friend will certainly die.
4.2 "you were long dead". Tech: Adverb and circular structure.
This reinforces that the friend is deceased. "long" implies they've been dead for some time.
4.3 "acting" and "thumbs up".
Tech: Metaphor and verb.
The friend is behaving as if they are well and happy. But this is a lie, they're putting on a brave face.