The concept of “The Door” is based on the idea of taking risks and embracing change. The poet uses a persuasive and insistent tone to encourage the audience to take action. The lack of rhythm, rhyme and conventional structure also give the poem a conversational tone.
The poem opens with the line “Go and open the door” and is used to begin the following three stanzas. The repetition of the imperative constructs a strong sense of not only urgency and necessity, but it also gives the audience a sense of the poet’s voice and presence as he urges change. A strong sense of speech is present in the second stanza when the poet directly addresses the audience (“you’ll); this gets the audience’s attention.
The poet uses the central concept of the door, which is used as a dual metaphor that can be viewed as a symbol of a barrier, a symbol of what restricts us. It can also be seen as a gateway to opportunity and change. This image gives cohesion to the entire poem because the image is sustained strongly throughout.
The poet uses imagery throughout the poem, evoking strong images in each stanza, and language that appeals to the senses. The first stanza uses an image of a “tree, or a wood”. This natural image conjures a sense of freedom. It then moves to “a garden, or a magic city”, evoking images of human tampering with nature, and the idea of large possibility.
The idea of possibility is conveyed by the use of the word “Maybe” in both stanza one, and twice in the second stanza. The ideas present in the second stanza build up the same way as in the first stanza; there is a repetition of structure and style. It begins with brining the poem back to reality, and ending with “the picture of a picture”, conjuring the idea of an endless possibility.
The third stanza differs from the first two. It is here that the possibility of risk is introduced with the metaphorical fog. However, we are assured that this fog will clear.
The fourth stanza becomes more insistent with the use of the phrase “Even if”. The imagery in this stanza is more striking, introducing the idea that even if there is only “darkness ticking” or a “hollow wind” go and open the door. Time is still passing.
The poem has a quizzical ending, and there is a shift in voice as it changes to a softer tone. In a way it is anticlimactic, the build up of many possibilities throughout comes to an end with “At least there’ll be a draught”. Which actually emphasis the point even more strongly, take a risk, at least there will be something different, a change, which is what you are looking for.
The poem presents an optimistic tone, insistent that change is a positive force to be embraced. Through evocative language and strong imagery, the reader is assured that they should take action, overcome the barrier, and take the risk.