In this poem, Muldoon describes a person on a hospital bed, ill and going through severe pain along with anesthesia, basically on their death bed. Through all this pain, one thing remains, which is the patient’s hearing, something he claims will be the last to go. This person is listening to the conversations going on around him, mostly conversations he would condemn. Yet, he says he swore he wouldn’t condemn the comments that originally he’d judge and be against that’d being up a “little phelgm”. The conversations he hears while in the hospital he says recount his youthful thrills and spills, which most likely means the patient did some things he now sees as wrong or atleast stupid.
In this poem, it is clear that the poet is speaking words of wisdom to her sister in order for her sister to not end up like her pretty much. In the first lines she says “I have writen this so that, in the next myth, my sister will be wiser”. From the routine sound of the poet’s life it can be inferred that the she wishes she had done differently instead of cooking, making coffee and doing house work pretty much all the time. The poet is encouraging her sister to basically not live a life like she did, that way, she will be happy and have a companion, unlike her.