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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.





Anonymous submission.






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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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