The title of the poem ‘Back When All Was Continuous Chuckles’ creates a flashback scenario in the poem. This immediately makes the reader to have a reflective mindset of an event taking place in some medieval era or past time. This element is essentially supported by the first person technique employed by the narrator as seen in “Doris and I were helplessly on the Beeline Bus laughing what was it?” (Inez 459). This question posed by the narrator leads to the creation of the subject matter contained in the poem, which entails a consistent review of previous fiction pieces of in the form of movies and books titles, and matching this with her surroundings and events at the moment. In addition, heavy symbolism has been used in the poem to describe the grave yards as seen in “Freaky ghouls and skeletons” (Inez 459). Through the application of a sarcastic tone, the narrator serves to bring humor into the poem. This aspect can be seen when she makes reference to the movie: “What did the deadman say to the ghost?” (Inez 459). This creates an element of suspense.
The poem is essentially set in two different surroundings. The first setting is in the bus as seen in “The bus was grinding towards Hempstead” (Inez 459). The second setting is in the destination, which is Doris’ residence as seen in “In a shadowy room her skin seemed gray as moon dust on Smith Street, as Doris’ house where we tiptoed down the hall” (Inez 459). These settings have been described through the use of heavy imagery to bring a vivid picture to the reader. Moreover, the context of the poem is essentially during a phenomenal war time as the narrator identifies in “The war was on, rationing, siren” (Inez 459). This serves to explain the reason as to why the narrator and Doris have travelled all way, especially when she makes reference to Doris’ mother. We see this in “I helped wringing out cloths while Doris brought water in a glass held to her mother’s lips” (Inez 459).