Wednesday, January 11, 2012

For Julia, In Deep Water

I'm sure Ms. King wouldn't like us discussing the poem on the blog without talking about it first in class (but maybe she will). So,

I interpreted the poem to mean a child, presumably Julia, struggling to swim with her swim instructor. Her parents are watching from the deep end and are waiting for Julia to come to them.  Because "only your mother is drowning," I pictured that the mother was crying or in pain while watching the child fight through the water. Obviously, the water represents life and it is supposed to be extremely difficult. To portray life as menacing, Morris uses words like wasting, darker, hopeless, and screaming. The child is maturing in the last stanza and the parents finally have to let go. I guess it is a poem about the difficulties of life and parenthood plus how hard it is to allow your child to grow up.


msking said...

I'm Ms. King, and I approve this message. :) In all seriousness, I would never, ever mind your discussing literature, no matter where or when. In fact, it makes me happy when you do!

alyb said...

I think that the use of the words like "dark" are suppossed to represent a sense of forboding. This is a tool that a lot of poets seem to use. We even saw it in rimbaud (im not sure if i spelled his name right) It's really interesting that words can change the mood and tone of a poem very quickly.

christine said...

My favorite part of the poem was:

"You will scream for your mother—
Only your mother is drowning
Forever in the thin air
Down at the deep end.
She is doing nothing,
She never did anything harder."

I interpreted it to mean that the mother is finally realizing that her child is growing up, and that she is forcing herself not to jump in and hold Julia. She is feeling pain through her child and has to sit and watch instead of intervene.

sara pendleton said...

Ok - When somebody explained to me that this poem was about swim lessons, it totally clicked. I think this a really well done poem. I completly missed that it was about a swim lesson when I read it, I mean that NEVER occured to me. It's funny because everbody seemed to pick up on that immidatly haha been reading too much Billy Collins...