David Malouf

Start Free Trial

What is referred to as a mistake in David Malouf's "Revolving Days"?

Quick answer:

In “Revolving Days,” the speaker calls falling in love a mistake. The speaker proceeds to write about how he has changed because of the love that still remains.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In David Malouf's poem “Revolving Days,” the speaker begins by identifying a mistake he once made. He “fell in love.” Yet if this is a mistake, he doesn't seem to particularly regret it, for “it lasted and has lasted.” He still feels the tug at his heart and sees his love as a “grace unasked for.”

The speaker then allows himself to reminisce about how, in his new state of love, he went out and bought some new shirts, hoping to express his new in-love self. They were colorful and apparently different from what he normally wore. Yet they symbolized his “new life as lover.”

In the second stanza, we learn that the speaker's relationship has not lasted. He never even communicates with his former lover now. Yet sometimes he imagines that he is the self he once was when they were in love and that his lover is in the next room waiting for him to surprise her.

The final stanza allows the speaker to express his continuing love. He feels like his heart is in his mouth as he writes this poem for his lover. He assures her that he will not suddenly appear out of the past to make her uncomfortable. He does not even expect a reply. Yet he composes this poem for her, wherever she is now. He is still himself, and he is still in love even though his love, he feels, is a mistake. Yet it has served to make him who he is today.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial