What  happens in the peom "Traveling Through the Dark" by William Stafford?

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literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

William Stafford's poem "Traveling Through the Dark" speaks to the narrator's experience with a dead, and pregnant, doe. The narrator's car has come upon the dead dear and he (assumptive, only based upon the gender of the author) must make a decision: help the baby or risk another car accident. In the end, as both nature and man bear down on the speaker, the narrator chooses to push the dead dear off into the canyon.

While the poem seems relatively straightforward, a story about a decision, much more is happening. The epic battle of man verses nature is at odds again (as it has been throughout time). The narrator, stuck between the listening wilderness and the car coming at him, must make a decision about the doe. The narrator, not having much time, decides to push the doe into the canyon--essentially, man wins.