How many years have we been doing this together,
me in the bow rowing, you in the stern
lying back, dragging your hands in the water--
or, as now, the other way around, your body
moving toward me and away, your dark hair swinging
forward and back, your face flushed and lovely
against the green hills, the blues of lake and sky.
Soon nothing else matters but this pleasure,
your green eyes looking past me, far away,
then at me, then away, your lips I want to kiss
each time they near me, your arms that reach
toward me gripping the handles as the blades
swing back dripping, two arcs of droplets
pearling on the surface before disappearing.
Sometimes I think we could do this forever,
like part of the vow we share, the rhythm
we find, the pull of each stroke on the muscles
of your arched back, your neck gorged and pulsing
with the work of it, your body rocking
more urgently now, your face straining with something
like pain you can hardy stand--then letting go,
the two of us gliding out over the water.
This poem is really good! I enjoyed it because it seemed to be comparing a rowing to a relationship. The poet did a great job with description, he really put the image of a boat gliding over the water with his words. My personal favorites were "as the blades swing back dripping, two arcs of droplets pearling on the surface" and "your dark hair swinging forward and back, your face flushed and lovely against the green hills, the blues of lake and sky.". My favorite word in the poem was 'pearling', pearl itself is a pretty cool word, but to make it a verb was really cool!
The poem didn't have much of a rhyme scheme, not one that was noticeable. And I thought it was really interesting that only three periods were used in the entire poem. The poem was four stanzas long, but the fourth one was only a single line. Which i thought was really powerful, because it really showed how the speaker was trying to describe a relationship. I think he/she set it apart from the rest of the poem to really make a point. The first three stanzas all had seven lines and were all one sentence each. But I thought it was incredible how the poet didn't make it seem like they were giant run-on sentences, it seemed like a large, but divided thought. It really worked. Plus the use of line breaks and commas really helped with that.
I believe the rowing the speaker was describing was symbolism for a relationship with a woman. In the first stanza I saw it as the speaker saying that they've been in this relationship for a while and it's been really the same thing over and over and it switched. It seemed like he was saying that he was in control and suddenly everything's flipped and now she's in control. But the way he describes her makes it seem like he's crazy about her. Now the second stanza seems to continue to describe his feelings for her as he talks about wanting to kiss her and continues to accent her pretty green eyes. It also keeps with the idea of her "rowing" instead. Then finally the third stanza it seems to describe things getting harder. The man wishes it could be like it is forever but the woman is having trouble rowing and suddenly she can't do it anymore. She gives up and in the fourth stanza they glide after giving up. I saw it as the end of the relationship and them parting ways gliding away because they both feel sad and defeated. I really enjoyed reading this poem and it meant something to me.