The poem “Traveling through the dark “composed by William Stafford presents a great tension or conflict between two reality, two system of life. On the one hand there is deficiency, responsibility, judgements and unglamorous virtues that we have to admire or face during the time of loss and damage. On the other hand there are emotion and feeling deeper and warmer than the efficiency and good judgement. In the poem, in one side there is mother deer lying dead on the side of the river. In the next side, there is a fawn alive and still waiting to be born but, it would ever be born. Anyway the poet, does the full justice to both sides by throwing the deer into the river. He clears the way and helps to lessen the fawn getting extreme pain for further.
The poem also presents the controversial idea. Generally we think death is possible in life. But here in the poem, the poet has shown life being possible in death also. In another word, death in life and life in death is another theme of the poem. In the last of the poem, the poet controls his emotion and using his reason he throws the dead deer into the river. It shows that he should learn to use our reason in the critical situation and accept the situation as they are.