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The Unbeliever Analysis

Author: poem of Elizabeth Bishop Type: poem Views: 5

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He sleeps on the top of a mast. - Bunyan

He sleeps on the top of a mast

with his eyes fast closed.

The sails fall away below him

like the sheets of his bed,

leaving out in the air of the night the sleeper's head.

Asleep he was transported there,

asleep he curled

in a gilded ball on the mast's top,

or climbed inside

a gilded bird, or blindly seated himself astride.

"I am founded on marble pillars,"

said a cloud.  "I never move.

See the pillars there in the sea?"

Secure in introspection

he peers at the watery pillars of his reflection.

A gull had wings under his

and remarked that the air

was "like marble." He said: "Up here

I tower through the sky

for the marble wings on my tower-top fly."

But he sleeps on the top of his mast

with his eyes closed tight.

The gull inquired into his dream,

which was, "I must not fall.

The spangled sea below wants me to fall.

It is hard as diamonds; it wants to destroy us all."


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