The first stanza of the poem begins with a rather colloquial, informal tone—implied, for example, by the absence of the preposition "for" in the line, "I took my mind a walk." The first stanza also immediately establishes the central idea of the poem, which concerns the relationship between the self and one's mind. Whether the speaker took his mind for a walk or his mind took him suggests that the distinction between the mind and the self is blurred.
In the second stanza, the speaker evokes an image of light "glitter(ing) on the water," but suggests that perhaps it was actually the water "glitter(ing) in the light." This image serves as a metaphor through which the speaker tries to resolve the question as to whether the mind determines the self or the self determines the mind. In the metaphor, the light and the water represent the mind and the self.
In stanzas 3 to 6, the speaker describes what he observed on his walk. He describes ducks "shilly-shallying," "Small flowers" struggling to...
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