Come join the discussion! Reddit user StevenStevenson says:
After numerous re-readings of the poem, there are still some aspects of its literal content that I'm not sure I understand.
Is he (perhaps hypothetically) in bed with the woman who says, "That is not what I meant, all" (97, 109)? In line 96, she's "settling a pillow by her head".
I initially imagined the speaker as an old man in a stale sexless marriage, trying to be bold and bring their sex-lives back from the dead. But he's single (alone), right?
My impression is that he's imagining these beautiful mythical women, and is interrupted by someone, a human, a woman, maybe. But why do "we drown"?
I apologize; I feel pretty lame asking someone to explain this to me, but I think It's such a wonderful poem and it bothers me that I'm unsure about these critical points.
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