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No Escaping

This image reveals the jeopardy in drinking:

His curmudgeon glare

The pursing of his lips

The gauntlet stare

So deep in thought of a mistake made

That set a lifetime adrift.

Pale riders,

Both of them

Sharing a similar boat

A stir in it’s sinking.

Both are on dry land.

Anger follows them

Like a gray cloud.

Pour back the pint,

Its glorious rivulets

Embossed for distraction

Slowly diminish with each sip into

The texture of forget-me-knots.

In an action that is forever reoccurring

There is no escape.

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One comment

  1. Here is my interpretation of this poem:

    The title already tells there is something to be afraid of, a situation in which somebody seems to feel trapped, where drinking means danger. The man of the poem looks afraid, as if he were fearing a loss of self-control. He is very tense as his facial expressions show, with pursed lips and a gauntlet stare, both revealing he feels fear and somehow the need to be ready to attack or rather to be able to defend himself against anything that might be too risky or disappointing. Maybe it is a situation similar or related to some past experience where he feels he made a huge mistake as it “set a lifetime adrift”.

    The poem goes back to the present with the image of two pale riders sharing a similar boat. A possible interpretation could be that of a man who made a big mistake within a love relationship. Now he could be having a drink with another possible lover, they would both be the pale riders and he would be terribly afraid of repeating the same mistake(s) from the past.

    The boat could be seen as a metaphor for any person’s life journey. The two lovers or would-be-lovers would find a good connection with each other as they are “sharing a similar boat”, maybe suggesting the idea of sharing similar life trajectories and interests. Yet the feelings of FEAR and UNCERTAINTY are constant in this poem like the image of a stir in the boat’s sinking, which suggests the fragility of these two people’s relationship, of their moves or decisions where the dry land could symbolize certain HOPE for them. Nevertheless, the two lovers or would-be-lovers seem to have had some problem with each other as “anger follows them”, a menacing gray cloud bringing back the previous fear.

    I like this image very much: “Pour back the pint/ Its glorious rivulets/ Embossed for distraction/ Slowly diminish with each sip into/ The texture of forget-me-knots.” To me it suggests that being the pint something liquid, it has “glorious rivulets”. The rivulets are small streams like any person’s life which is also like a small river that flows from birth till death. The rivulets are glorious because they could symbolize these beautiful moments, though ephemeral, two lovers may spend together, “embossed for distraction” from what will inevitably come afterward. This is somehow being perceived and feared so maybe it would be better to pour back the pint to avoid an ill-fated situation. Each sip makes the pint— this drink that provides some pleasant moments and sensations— diminish until there is only a texture of forget-me-knots. As a reader I tend to associate this image with a type of furniture, something hard and knotted. Is this a metaphor of how the love relationship will evolve, into something too difficult and complicated? Could this also be a word play with the word forget-me-not— meaning the flower whose wearers would not be forgotten by their lovers— and the word knot meaning an interlacing of a rope? If so, the forget-me-knot would mean just the opposite. Associated with the beer it could be a metaphor for a situation where there is a person, in this case a lover, who symbolically tries to tie the other to a rope with a knot. Thus this person tries to maintain a type of love relationship that is suffocating the other part. As a result, one of the two feels enslaved in the relationship where there is no escape because this situation or action is forever reocurring.


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