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    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    What is this poem about? What stands out?

    From the Other Shore
    by William Pitt Root

    For my mother and sisters

    Waiting to be served we look from the veranda
    down into a river
    whose unpronounceable name
    would mean nothing to you. Thick
    green trees on the opposite bank ignite
    as an elongated sun
    touches their fringes,
    and sheep gathered there to drink
    slowly retreat into shadows
    where their suncharged fleeces
    still glow in the dark.

    Much farther downstream,
    beyond where its broad back carries clouds,
    Some of the black rocks
    gathered at a bend
    are in motion, rise and
    fall, rising again
    and again as we
    see, our eyes now focused
    for the distance,
    the lengths of brightness
    each rock flails, causing
    the other, dormant stones
    to shine.

    Washerwomen. Probably
    wives and mothers
    to the shepherds
    we sense watching us
    from the other shore. Perhaps
    the white shirts
    of the waiters brighten
    drubbed upon those stones.
    By the time the meal is served and removed
    in a flaring of silver
    from these tableclothes
    immaculate in late
    sunlight, we can hear
    faintly the dull reports
    of wet clothes slung
    heavily down upon the stones.

    First the flash and only
    moments after the slap
    slap these flat stones
    have known for centuries
    or more, before learning
    the roar of cars like ours,
    casually laden
    with items worth
    more than we had known
    before we saw the
    stones of the river rising up
    in the forms of women.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
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    • Join Date: Jun 2008
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    Re: What is this poem about? What stands out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitt1919 View Post
    From the Other Shore
    by William Pitt Root
    I note this is only your second post. People here generally like you to have a go first yourself before they put a lot of work into analysing something that you might not even have looked at. Why not give your ideas first, then we can comment on them?

    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 1

    Re: What is this poem about? What stands out?

    Right from the onset of the Poem the Poet seem to be engulfed in admiration with the scene below him;nature.We see clearly how he tries to beautifully present his love or rather admiration of what captivated him as he waits for his meal to be served.
    The Poet tries to present a unity between the animals and indeed the River as the sheep move by the river's bank to partake of its content.However they scared away by their very shadow;which clearly presents the sheep as not been complete in themselves.
    What seem most interesting is the poet's description in the second stanza.As if he was carried away by his vision ,the poet uses hyperbole to present what can best be described as his illusion ed state ''some of the black rock...rise and fall...
    What stands out prominent, for me, in the poem is the poet's admiration for nature, which so captivated his mind to an extent that he sees things rather the unusual way.

    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 2

    Re: What is this poem about? What stands out?

    Your question is as good as mine. But in my opinion, I think it's because of the peacefulness he instills into his lines, I suppose. I feel as if he was very observant with the sheeps and their glow-in-the-dark fleece, and the pebbles. Wasn't he far, shaded comfortably by the veranda? This guy's got some binocular vision.

    Hmm, I also think that it's maybe because of the way he connects what he saw with what he knew, like the women washing the shirts of the waiter that he was waiting for and the washing technique that had been there for centuries.

    I think he definitely wrote what he felt at that time but I don't like this poem a lot, it's too serene and simple for me. Another thing is that if you connect all the lines together, this could be an excerpt from some book.

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