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The Lifeguard Analysis



Author: poem of James Dickey Type: poem Views: 36

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In a stable of boats I lie still,
From all sleeping children hidden.
The leap of a fish from its shadow
Makes the whole lake instantly tremble.
With my foot on the water, I feel
The moon outside

Take on the utmost of its power.
I rise and go our through the boats.
I set my broad sole upon silver,
On the skin of the sky, on the moonlight,
Stepping outward from earth onto water
In quest of the miracle

This village of children believed
That I could perform as I dived
For one who had sunk from my sight.
I saw his cropped haircut go under.
I leapt, and my steep body flashed
Once, in the sun.

Dark drew all the light from my eyes.
Like a man who explores his death
By the pull of his slow-moving shoulders,
I hung head down in the cold,
Wide-eyed, contained, and alone
Among the weeds,

And my fingertips turned into stone
From clutching immovable blackness.
Time after time I leapt upward
Exploding in breath, and fell back
From the change in the children's faces
At my defeat.

Beneath them I swam to the boathouse
With only my life in my arms
To wait for the lake to shine back
At the risen moon with such power
That my steps on the light of the ripples
Might be sustained.

Beneath me is nothing but brightness
Like the ghost of a snowfield in summer.
As I move toward the center of the lake,
Which is also the center of the moon,
I am thinking of how I may be
The savior of one

Who has already died in my care.
The dark trees fade from around me.
The moon's dust hovers together.
I call softly out, and the child's
Voice answers through blinding water.
Patiently, slowly,

He rises, dilating to break
The surface of stone with his forehead.
He is one I do not remember
Having ever seen in his life.
The ground I stand on is trembling
Upon his smile.

I wash the black mud from my hands.
On a light given off by the grave
I kneel in the quick of the moon
At the heart of a distant forest
And hold in my arms a child
Of water, water, water.


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||




.: :.

This poem is mostly about a lifeguard who could not save a child's life. 1738

| Posted on 2015-11-12 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem is a rip-off of famous poem "clipper ship" by renown poet Tate.

| Posted on 2015-05-17 | by a guest


.: :.

My take is he was unable to save the boy from drowning and went to boat house exhausted and humiliated to wait for the body to surface and recover.

| Posted on 2015-05-16 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem is about racism. That lifeguard let the boy drown because he was black(remember he said he couldn't see him in the darkness.) He later was remorseful when he realized he himself was black.

| Posted on 2015-05-15 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem is about a ghost; there are plenty of flashbacks within it.
The main character - the lifeguard - is the boy that died. He goes back to the lake where he drowned as a ghost many times, "In search of a miracle," or a way to get over what happened to him, by remembering things differently.
The quote below summarizes the Lifeguard's death:
"Dark drew all the light from my eyes.
Like a man who explores his death
By the pull of his slow-moving shoulders,
I hung head down in the cold."

| Posted on 2015-04-12 | by a guest


.: :.

it seems to me to be about a lifeguard who attempts to save a drowning child but cant find him in the water and the child drowns. then he comes back later at night with remorse, and at night swims out and finds the body of the dead child and brings it back to shore. seems correct if i am getting all the details right.

| Posted on 2013-01-05 | by a guest


.: :.

what happened is that a man tried to save a child a while back. hes going back into the past as to what happened, and he goes back to the lake trying to same the kid again, but the kids already dead
.

| Posted on 2012-11-01 | by a guest


.: :.

I believe this poem represents the struggle of an obese contestant on the NBC show \"The Biggest Loser.\"

| Posted on 2011-05-08 | by a guest


.: :.

I believe this poem represents the struggle of a white teen who has joined the Bloods.

| Posted on 2011-05-08 | by a guest


.: :.

I think that this poem is about a guy who swims in water and stuff

| Posted on 2010-12-21 | by a guest


.: :.

I think that this poem is about a guy who swims in water and stuff

| Posted on 2010-12-21 | by a guest


.: :.

I think this poem is about a lifeguard whom children admire because they think the lifeguard can always save someone from drowning. But, when he is unable to save a child the children are dissapointed in his inablility to save. So he swims beneath the water, as not to be seen by the children, and waits for the moon to come back out and shine on the water. He calls for the child and swims back out to the middle of the lake where he finds the child dead and takes him to shore.

| Posted on 2010-11-10 | by a guest


.: :.

I think this poem is about a lifeguard whom children admire because they think the lifeguard can always save someone from drowning. But, when he is unable to save a child the children are dissapointed in his inablility to save. So he swims beneath the water, as not to be seen by the children, and waits for the moon to come back out and shine on the water. He calls for the child and swims back out to the middle of the lake where he finds the child dead and takes him to shore.

| Posted on 2009-11-17 | by a guest


.: :.

i think tihs message is about someone who admires the water in the moon light. he then soon jumps in to try to save someone who is drowning, but fails, he then comes to the sand of the shallows and hears the childeren crying for their friend.
from Lawrence

| Posted on 2009-10-20 | by a guest


.: :.

can someone help explain the peom..
i honestly dont understand this one!

| Posted on 2009-04-08 | by a guest




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