Carol commented on my last post that she hadn't read the poem as being about the death of a partner, but more the absence of a partner through separation, divorce, or the slow decline of dementia. She pulled me up in my tracks a bit because I realised I'd made a huge assumption about the poem and I was compelled to re-read it and test out my idea.
We read texts with our own life experiences to draw upon, I guess. I'm no critical theorist (very ignorant about the whole process of reading) and cannot contextualise my interpretation of the poem except in terms of how it relates to my experiences. So for me it definitely is about death, but I wonder how the rest of you interpret the poem? Carol reminded me that it can be read in many different ways - thank you!