The Deathwatch Beetle by Linda Pastan : Poem Guide : Learning Lab : The Poetry Foundation
Practically every line of Linda Pastan’s “The Deathwatch Beetle” is appropriately assertive and menacing. The cardinal is also fitting as a metaphor for the human spirit. In the first case
there is a battered red bird, probably as it tries to escape a vision of itself seen in a window. Then, in the final stanza, another cardinal is “blood brother” to the spirit of the deceased, which is desperate to escape the dead human body restraining it.