Interpreting and analysing a poem is not necessarily a matter of finding the right answer.
Poems are complex creations and are open to many different interpretations. Your interpretation is as valid as anyone else's - as long as you can back it up with suitable evidence from the text.
Remember to avoid simply identifying what techniques or approaches poets use. Aim to show an understanding of how form, language and structure create meanings and effects.
Below are some differing interpretations of the poem. How would you interpret the poem?
Interpretation of the whole poem:
|Interpretation||Reason for interpretation|
|The poem has a dreamy, wandering tone||Dove uses digression (deviation from the central theme), flitting from subject to subject in a dreamlike way. The use of dashes in each verse interrupts the flow of thought. Twice, full-stops fall at awkward points in a line, 'Event.' and 'center. Floyd is disrupting the flow of thought.|
|The poem is thoughtful and reflective.||The focus on tiny details suggests a state of deep concentration: 'the glossy blue/ My pen exudes, drying matte, upon the page'.|
|The poem is disjointed and does not always flow smoothly.||The poem starts off in rhyming couplets, after stanza one this changes. Most lines have four stresses ('As standing in silver stirrups will allow'), but some lines have five stresses ('This post-postmodern age is all business: compact disks'). The gradual break-down of the rhyme scheme and the poem's irregular rhythm might also be said to imitate the oncoming storm. The speaker's memories become scattered, just as Hurricane Floyd will scatter debris.|