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I really couldn't thank you enough for this! You've pointed out so many things that I couldn't have picked up on by myself (I'm very new to crit)....
MrPedanticDo you think he ran out of steam in the 3rd stanza? It seems a bit perfunctory...
I really can't tell to be honest. I'm not too keen on this poem really...
My pleasure! (I expect other people will find other things too.)

Maybe Seamus will stop by one day, and admit that, well, yes, he did have to finish it in a hurry, there was a cab at the door, he'd a plane to catch, arts programmes to appear on, etc. –

In fact, he may be looking at us now.

<straightens tie>

MrP
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LOL!! Emotion: big smile
MrP seems to have this well in hand. I would have said that imagery is sensory, while symbolism is intellectual.
Mister Micawber I would have said that imagery is sensory, while symbolism is intellectual.

I like the succinctness of that, and I agree...though with a little bit of a reservation about the word 'intellectual'...maybe, 'ideational' (perhaps too fancy-sounding a word?)

Picasso, I hear, was asked about the meaning of Guernica. He said, 'Well, the bull is a bull, right?, and the horse is a horse, right? I forget why I put the lightbulb in there.'
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To me, it sounds a bit ritualistic, what are they really doing, why do they need candles, why are they wearing black shawls, why are the flames blue, where are they, why can't you trace a wrinkle on their faces that are outwardly gloomy?
so, what is the nature of these women? They are good cuz they commit to this worship. Are they stupid to believe in something that might not even exist? Is their actions out of kindness and love, or is it out of fear of not doing it, or is it futility and therefore unnecessary?
I was always taught that imagery consited of metaphors, similes and personification but I'm not sure how to define symbolism other than it uses symbols (I'm not really sure myself tbh sorry) hope this helps