Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesPoetry · 1 decade ago

does anyone understand the poem Fear Drowned by Sharon Olds?

I totally don't get the meatphor in this poem. What is it trying to say? Does anyone know anythnig about this poem? Thank you! xoxo

Feared Drowned

Suddenly nobody knows where you are,

your suit black as seaweed, your bearded

head slick as a seal's.

Somebody watches the kids. I walk down the

edge of the water, clutching the towel

like a widow's shawl around me.

None of the swimmers is just right.

Too short, too heavy, clean-shaven,

they rise out of the surf, the water

rushing down their shoulders.

Rocks stick out near shore like heads.

Kelp snakes in like a shed black suit

and I cannot find you.

My stomach begins to contract as if to

vomit salt water,

when up the sand toward me comes

a man who looks very much like you,

his beard matted like beach grass, his suit

dark as a wet shell against his body.

Coming closer, he turns out

to be you - or nearly.

Once you lose someone it is never exactly

the same person who comes back.

1 Answer

  • Drew
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    What metaphor? The poem appears to be about someone who momentarily loses her significant other in the sea. Surely you've had a similar experience -- you're somewhere with someone, and all the sudden you realize that you don't know where they are. Are they gone? What's happened to them? Anxiety takes hold of you.

    The only really problematic part of the poem is the last stanza. The lines "Once you lose someone it is never exactly / the same person who comes back" are interesting in the way that they conflate being ("is") and perception, which is more accurately what is being described. She's saying that she can't really look at him the same way any more, after feeling that she'd lost him, but instead of saying it in those terms she says that *he* has changed. Read into that what you will. It's an interesting choice.

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