Looking across the river

Essay by sweetytweetyMiddle School, 6th gradeC, October 2014

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Looking Across the River

Commentary Writing

"Looking Across the River " is a poem written by the poet William Stafford in the year 1982. It is quite a stylistic poem that talks about both literal and metaphorical things. A group of people (might be friends) are riding a car and across a deserted and eerie looking island. Soon after, Ken the driver says, "I'd be afraid to live there." he shivers and everyone feels the fear that makes him shake. Up until now, the speaker was present with the others in the car (physically as well as mentally). As soon as the speaker looked towards the dreary island, his thoughts took over and (in his head), he found himself on the deserted hermit all by himself. He thus (in his mind) became someone else and got separated from the other.

He thus started to follow his own path, in order to experience a new world, a journey about life. After a while, he got back out of his rather vast imaginative world and found himself sitting in the car.

Since no one noticed his mental absence for a while, he pretended to join in. however, something was different from what it was before. "Somewhere, I had lost someone." This line signifies that the speaker had lost his real self after the out of body experience he had had. The 'thing' that the speaker had lost can be thought of as his fear. However, after his (metaphorical) journey, he is no longer scared of anyone or anything - "Come for me now, world……I have been over the water and lived there all alone." The last few lines of the poem clearly tell us that the speaker is much more experienced due...