I need some help analyzing a poem written by a class mate. Can anyone shed some light on what it's about?What is the emotional centre? Examples of elements of craft: imagery, metaphor & simile,...

I need some help analyzing a poem written by a class mate. Can anyone shed some light on what it's about?

What is the emotional centre? Examples of elements of craft: imagery, metaphor & simile, language, rhythm & sound, connotation etc. ??

The poem:

We can't make it.

I waited. Ecstasy anticipation. Played.

The scene over and over and over. Again. We can't make it. Not tonight.

The stairs, steep incline. A journey topples you. Heels over head over toes. We can't.

I said no. No. Again. Your toes, gnarled topple over your boorish head over everything that has been healed.

I toppled you, king. Check. Check. Mate.

And we crowned each other, congratulated each other on our own incredibility.

Good. Good. Because I said no and I dodged when you topple head over heals over toes over boorish head. Over and over and over again.

I say no always I mean yes. Catch me as you topple.

Tra la la down the garden path, onto the trye swing and we're flying again.

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lynnebh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

Well, I'll take a stab at it. To me, this poem seems to be about a relationship. It seems to be a love relationship and the author seems to be conflicted. The author seems to have been angered or hurt by his/her partner because twice the partner is referred to as "boorish".

The author is distraught emotionally at the beginning. He/she is upset with the partner and in dramatic fashion, declares: We can't make it! The author seems to be saying he/she has tried - but it just won't work. There was ecstasy once, but now that is gone. The author has rehearsed things over and over again and comes to the same conclusion - we can't make it. There is something in the relationship that is an obstacle - this is represented by the "steep stairs" down which the partner topples, "heels over head." The author seems to be in some sort of struggle with the partner because he/she refers to the partner as a "king" that he/she has toppled. And the author has emerged victorious - "I dodged you when you topple" and also "I toppled you king."

But, as with many relationships, there is drama and the negative emotion changes to a positive emotion. "I say no always I mean yes." Well now. Even though the relationship is rocky, the author asks the partner to "catch me as you topple" and together they roll along "down the garden path." So they get over their fight and move on.

The imagery is one of a person falling down some stairs and another person dodging the falling person trying to protect himself/herself. The author is trying to protect himself/herself in the relationship with the boorish head. The boorish head is a metaphor for the author's partner. The stairs are a metaphor or symbol for the challenge in the relationship, whatever it is. The journey that topples the partner is whatever wrong the partner has done.

There are some word/phrase twists - for example, the expression "head over heels" is represented as "heels over head." "Head over heels" is usually used when referring to love, as in "she is head over heels in love with you" but using it backwards signifies that something is amiss in this relationship.

What do you think?

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