“Thinking about Bill, Dead of AIDS,” by Miller Williams is a poem written as an elegy to Bill, and all other victims of the AIDS epidemic. In this poem the narrator is speaking about his friend dying of AIDS. Instead of speaking of just his emotions towards his friend dying, the narrator uses words such as “we” and “us,” speaking of many people feeling sorrow. Miller's poem personifies the national mood in the form of a poem about, and more appropriately to, Bill, a presumed friend who has died of AIDS. In this poem Mr. Miller addresses straight on the ignorance people had about the cause and effect of the AIDS disease. It discusses the emotions of trying to overcome one's fear of the likelihood of being infected by interacting with the diseased and to be with them in their painful times. It addresses the difficulties in doing this due to the fact that our society has made it impossible to understand the suffering and pain that Bill is enduring by painting an ignorant picture of the AIDS disease. The poem is set on the time presumably in the 1980's when little was known about the virus which caused AIDS. All that truly known was AIDS was deadly and there was no cure. As such, people who were infected with the disease were often treated with hatred and outcast from the society. The unfortunate result was many of these people died alone and in poverty, the opposite of how society typically treats its sick and dying. This poem highlights the questions and fears that dominated society during this time of the AIDS era.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document