What is a summary and an analysis of David Malouf's poem "Revolving Days"?

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beateach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

David Malouf’s poem “Revolving Days” is the title poem for one of his numerous books of poetry. In the poem, he is drawn back in time by the memories of a past love. Although he says that falling in love was a mistake, the love has endured within him. He seems to transcend time when he catches a glimpse of himself in the mirror. He feels like his love is in the other room and he is deciding which self he is going to present. He remembers three shirts he purchased during that time period which represent the changes that he was making in himself. He was experimenting with his identity.

In reality, time has passed; his lover is far away. This semblance of moving in and out of reality is reflected in the title, “Revolving Days.” In the end, Malouf’s words reassure his past love that although the memories have conjured up physical emotions, there will be no intrusion into present life. He does not expect anything in return, he says. “And no, at this distance, I’m not holding my breath for a reply.”

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